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How to spot and avoid a distracted driver

We lead busy lives and are often in a rush. For some, this is especially true when driving. It may seem easy enough to do something else while driving to save time, such as send a text message or have a bite to eat. This type of multitasking; however, can be very dangerous both for you and others on the road as it could lead to distracted driving.

How can drivers be distracted?

Under Florida law, police can pull over and cite a driver who is seen texting and driving. Still, these punitive measures do not always stop people from trying to use their cellphones while driving. This can lead to distracted driving.

Cellphone use is not the only way a motorist can be distracted behind the wheel. Eating, grooming, tuning on the radio or GPS or even chatting with passengers can all distract a driver.

Why is distracted driving dangerous?

Distracted driving is a major threat on Florida’s roadways. It is reported that if a driver takes their eyes off the road while driving at 50 miles per hour, it is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.

Texting and driving is especially dangerous because it encompasses all three types of distractions: visual distractions, manual distractions and cognitive distractions. After all, if you are texting, you are looking at your phone, not the road, your hands are on your phone, not the wheel, and you are thinking about the message rather than concentrating on driving.

How to spot a distracted driver

It is important to be aware of all drivers in your vicinity while on the road and to avoid driving alongside distracted drivers.

A distracted driver may:

  • Slow down or speed up without reason
  • Weave between lanes
  • Fail to go at a green light or stop sign
  • Fail to stop at a red light or stop sign
  • Look down at their lap rather than forward on the road
  • Visibly take their hand off the wheel
  • Reach for something in the passenger seat

Any of these behaviors can easily lead to a car crash. In the end, distracted driving is an act of negligence. As such, if you are injured in a collision caused by a distracted driver, you may have the ability to pursue legal action with a goal of being compensated for the damages you suffered.