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Was the Other Driver Distracted?

Know the Signs of Distracted Driving

November 5, 2020

The sight of people on their smartphones is practically inescapable nowadays. The one place where you never want to see someone using a phone is behind the wheel. Unfortunately, distracted driving continues to be a major problem.

If you were injured in an accident where you suspect the at-fault driver was texting or otherwise not paying attention, a distracted driving accident attorney can build a strong case on your behalf. Ideally, however, we want to help motorists avoid accidents in the first place by identifying potential distracted driving before a collision occurs.

Please contact the Karl Truman Law Office for a free review of your accident case. Our attorneys serve clients in and around Louisville, Kentucky (call (502) 222-2222), and Jeffersonville, Indiana (call (812) 282-8500).

Was the At-Fault Driver Distracted?

Although most of the conversation around distracted driving centers on cell phone use, distraction has many non-digital causes as well. Even seemingly innocuous activities, such as drinking and eating, talking to someone else in the car, or adjusting the dashboard controls, can compromise a driver’s focus and cause a car accident.

In order to recognize distracted driving, it is important to be aware of both the behavior of other drivers and what you see the occupants of other vehicles doing. With this in mind, here are 5 tips to watch out for a distracted driver:

1. Excess or Irregular Speed

Regulating the speed of a vehicle requires the driver’s full visual, manual, and cognitive attention. When drivers are distracted, however, they may follow other vehicles too closely or fall far behind the flow of traffic. Upon realizing their mistake (provided they do realize the mistake), distracted drivers may begin traveling too fast, or drastically curb their speed.

Speeding or poor regulation of speed may be an indicator of distracted driving, or it may be the result of other errors on the part of the driver. Whatever the cause, it is best to steer clear of drivers who are going too fast or fail to keep pace with traffic.

2. Failure to Stay in the Lane

Many distractions occupy one or both of a driver’s hands. As a result, difficulty steering the car is a common issue associated with distracted driving.

You may notice a vehicle drifting within its lane, into another lane, or even onto the shoulder of the road. This kind of erratic behavior behind the wheel creates a hazard for all of the drivers in the immediate vicinity. Whether it is the result of distracted driving or some other error, it is important for you to stay alert of drivers who fail to stay within their lanes.

3. Inconsistent Braking

Distracted drivers may unconsciously tap the brakes because they assume it is safer to slow down when they are preoccupied. Then, when they do look back up at the road, they may need to slam on the brakes to try to avoid crashing into another vehicle or a stationary object.

Just like controlling speed, it is important to know when to slow down and stop. Drivers may become erratic in their braking, however, when they are distracted.

4. Ignoring Traffic Lights and Signs

One of the biggest dangers with distracted driving is the failure to pay attention to signs and signals designed to regulate traffic. A distracted driver may:

  • Travel straight through a red light or stop sign
  • Fail to slow down when approaching a yellow light
  • Fail to yield to oncoming traffic
  • Overlook pedestrians in a crosswalk or cyclists in a bike lane, resulting in a pedestrian or bicycle accident
  • Fail to modify speed or change lanes ahead of a construction zone

The errors above commonly result in collisions between distracted drivers and other vehicles, as well as people on bikes, on foot, and performing road work. Due to the dangers of distracted driving, it is important to use caution when making your way through an intersection, work zone, or other area where the flow of traffic changes.

5. Visible Distractions Inside the Car

The most obvious signs of distracted driving are the ones you can see with your own eyes. If you are close enough to catch a glimpse inside another vehicle, you may observe the driver:

  • Looking down at a cell phone
  • Talking on the phone
  • Holding food or a drink in one or both hands
  • Applying makeup or looking in the visor mirror
  • Talking to passengers
  • Fiddling with buttons on the dashboard
  • Reaching to another part of the car

While it can be beneficial to spot the activities of a distracted driver and modify your driving accordingly, don’t pay too much attention to what someone in another car is doing behind the wheel. If you do, you may become distracted and run the risk of causing an accident yourself.

What Should I Do If the At-Fault Driver Was Distracted?

In spite of how common distracted driving is, it can be difficult to prove on your own. In many cases, it is the at-fault driver’s word against yours.

But, if you do suspect distracted driving, there are steps you can take at the accident scene to begin building your case.

  1. Tell the police officer who responds to the accident scene what you saw the other driver doing
  2. Ask witnesses at the scene what they saw; one or more people may have noticed that the other driver was distracted, too
  3. Contact an accident attorney – at the initial consultation, tell the lawyer about your suspicions concerning distracted driving and share any proof you have to that effect

A distracted driving accident attorney will investigate the crash on your behalf to establish the negligence of the other driver. Your lawyer can request cell phone records and gather other evidence in support of your claim.

Contact Our Distracted Driving Accident Attorneys Today

The Karl Truman Law Office has extensive experience handling a wide variety of auto accident claims on behalf of our clients, including cases involving distracted driving. If you were injured by a distracted driver, our attorneys will gather evidence on your behalf and pursue the compensation you deserve.

Please call (502) 222-2222 today for a free consultation with our distracted driving accident attorneys in Louisville, Kentucky. The Karl Truman Law Office also serves clients in and around Jeffersonville, Indiana ((812) 282-8500).