How many times do you find yourself driving beside a car only for them to stare down in your lap? This is quite dangerous and common. The National Safety Council estimates there are approximately 1.6 million car crashes each year that can be attributed to mobile phone use while driving. This may seem shocking, but cell phone use is not the only distraction that can occur to drivers. Here are a few signs to look out for distracted drivers and ways to avoid them.
- The Glow and Light of a Cell Phone Night/Looking at the lap
As I mentioned, if a person is looking at their phone while driving with their head down, then it’s likely that they are using it. The illumination of their faces while driving at night is another telltale sign that they use their cell phones. While electronic dashboards may be commonplace nowadays, the glow from a mobile phone and the tendency of drivers to look downward rather than at what is in front of them make it very obvious whether they are distracted.
Distracted driving involves eating while you drive. There have been many times when we stopped for quick food or coffee on long trips, but eating while driving can be very dangerous. It takes just a few seconds for you to glance off the road to allow someone to cut you or a child to chase down a ball, or any other obstacle to appear and alter your life. It is not worth the risk of dividing your attention among road safety and food.
No law states you cannot eat while driving. But, if a driver is swerving while eating, they can pull you over and issue a ticket. You will be liable if you cause an injury while eating. It is a good idea to steer clear of anyone chewing or holding onto a wrapper when driving.
- Individual Interactions
Drivers who tend to be more in touch with their car’s passengers than they look at it can be very dangerous. If they are constantly gesturing in a wildly uncontrolled manner, it could be a sign that they are in an argument. They might be yelling at a child or trying to find something they’ve lost. Distracted drivers can easily get distracted from their vehicles by looking at a variety of things. If you observe that the driver’s gaze is not solely focused on the road ahead, they should keep a safe distance. Take the help of driving instructor near you that provide you important guidance regarding driving.
- The Posture is more important Than the Body
Notice if a driver is looking at their screen, reaching for their cigarette, or trying to adjust their chair while they look at their dashboard. They may never find what they need, but it’s possible that you won’t be there to help them.
Types of Distracted Driving
There are many causes for distracted driving. But they can all be grouped into one of three categories.
Visual Distraction –A distraction is anything that distracts a driver’s eye from the road. Visual Distraction can be applied makeup, checking the phone or GPS, or simply looking at a passenger. If eyes aren’t focused on the road ahead, it means they are visually distracted.
Cognitive Diffusion -Cognitive distractions are distractions that divert the driver’s attention from driving. This can happen by daydreaming, talking on the phone, and doing other activities.
Manual Distraction – Distractions that involve the driver taking their hands off the wheel for another task are called Manual Distractions. It is often associated with cognitive distractions. This includes texting, eating, and fiddling with dashboard controls.
If you see a driver speeding, braking erratically, or going against traffic flow, it could indicate that they are either drunk or distracted. If the behavior doesn’t stop, find a safe place where you can pull over and report it to the appropriate authorities. Half the battle knows the signs of distracted driving.