If you have ever been driving along the highway at night and pulled up next to a car that is emitting a white-blue light from the drivers’ side window, beware. There is a good chance that the driver is looking at a screen and not at the road. Distracted driving is a major problem on the roads today, and results in approximately nine deaths every single day in the United States.
The phrase “distracted driving” typically provokes an image of a person texting while they are driving. Although that is certainly one of the top causes of distracted driving, it is not the only one. Any activity that causes the driver to transition focus from the road to something else is considered a distraction. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) states that the three major types of distractions include:
- A Visual distraction – whenever the driver takes their eyes off the road to pay attention to something else. For example, using a cell phone, checking a GPS device, or trying to read a map while driving.
- Cognitive distractions – this is when the driver is thinking about something other than driving.
- Manual distractions – the driver takes their hands off the wheel. Examples of this might include looking for something in their purse, texting or typing, eating or drinking while driving.
How to Spot a Distracted Driver
A distracted driver might also show similar signs to a person who is driving under the influence of alcohol, and the effects on the brain are actually almost identical. Driving while distracted has been compared to drinking four beers and then getting behind the wheel of a car. For this reason, it is important to recognize the signs of a distracted driver so that you can avoid them. Some key indicators that a person is distracted while driving include:
- A car that is swerving in and out of their lane
- Ignoring the speed limit—either driving much too fast or driving below the limit
- Stopping for too long at a red light
- Not keeping up with the flow of traffic
- Disregarding traffic signs and crosswalks
Always Attempt to Avoid a Distracted Driver
If you suspect that a person is driving while distracted, the most important thing to do is avoid them. Distracted driving can easily cause an accident, and your goal is to keep this from happening. Slow down and attempt to switch lanes. If you believe that the driver is truly dangerous and should not be on the road, it is reasonable to exit the road. When you are stopped in a safe police, contact the police to report the distracted driver. The State of Indiana does impose certain laws to protect travelers from distracted drivers.
Contact an Indianapolis Distracted Driving Lawyer Today
Distracted driving is a growing problem on the roadways. If you or someone that you know has been injured by the reckless behavior of a distracted driver, Indianapolis personal injury lawyer Merry Fountain is a skilled injury advocate. If you are looking for an Injury Law Attorney in the greater Indy area—Indianapolis, Carmel, Fishers, Westfield, Zionsville, Brownsburg, Avon, Kokomo, Lebanon—we’re here to help! You can call her anytime at 1-888-242-HURT (4878), or simply click Tell Us About Your Case for a free consultation.