When you are behind the wheel, it’s important to be acutely alert to everything going on around you. Pedestrians and other drivers can do the wrong thing and lead to an accident. One of the worst problems on the road is distracted driving. Even if you are always 100 percent alert of your surroundings at all times, you never know when you might run into a distracted driver. It’s important to know how to spot a distracted driver and what can happen legally when a person drives while distracted.
One of the biggest indicators of a driver who is distracted while behind the wheel is that they suddenly apply their brakes. If someone abruptly slams on their brakes, it usually means that they are unaware of what’s going on around them. If you notice a driver ahead of you who seems to be braking suddenly, you should take all precautions to avoid them if possible. It can help you to avoid a potential disaster. A distracted driver who engages in sudden braking is also more likely to rear-end the vehicle in front of them.
Veering on the Road
A distracted driver frequently veers left or right on the road. They will have difficulty driving in a straight line. If you notice a vehicle swerving from left to right and not staying in their lane, it’s a good indication that they aren’t paying attention to the road. If you encounter such a driver, it’s a good idea to either pull over or make sure to put extra space between you and the other vehicle.
Driving Too Fast or Too Slow
A distracted driver will commonly drive either too fast or too slow. If someone behind the wheel is not paying attention, they can overcompensate by either driving too fast or too slow or change their speed for no reason at all.
Slow Response Time
If a driver is distracted because they are doing something else while driving, their response time will be slow. For instance, if someone is texting while driving, they may not realize there is a red light up ahead and might not stop because they might not realize until it is too late that the light is red. Likewise, a distracted driver may not immediately start moving once a light turns green because their attention is elsewhere.
Headphones in Ears
A driver who has headphones in their ears is either making a phone call, on a phone call or listening to music while they’re driving. Any of those scenarios are dangerous because it means their attention is not fully on the road and on their surroundings because they can’t hear road noises as clearly as they should hear them. If you notice a driver using headphones, you may want to stay clear of their vehicle.
Legal Implications of Distracted Driving
There are legal consequences to distracted driving. They include the following:
- If you are distracted while driving because you are talking on a cell phone or texting, you can get a ticket or a hefty fine.
- If your distracted driving leads to an accident caused by you, you can receive a citation.
- If you are distracted while driving and end up causing an accident that leads to a serious injury or death, you can receive jail time or probation
- If your distracted driving results in property damage, injury or death, you can be found financially liable.
It’s important to always be distraction-free while driving. Be cautious and try to avoid any driver who appears distracted as well. It will prevent an unnecessary accident and bodily harm.