As most Arizonans know, distracted driving is dangerous — it’s a leading cause of motor vehicle accidents throughout the United States. No matter if it’s texting, changing the music, eating a meal or settling down the kids in the backseat, all these activities and more can distract a driver’s attention away from the road.

Distracted drivers endanger not only themselves and their passengers but also everyone else on the road. More than 2,800 people were killed in crashes related to distracted driving in 2018, including more than 1,700 drivers, over 600 passengers, 400 pedestrians and 77 bike riders. Furthermore, an estimated 400,000 people were injured in crashes related to distracted driving.

What to look out for

For the sake of your safety, it’s important to be able to spot a distracted driver before an accident happens. Warning signs that a driver may be distracted can include:

  • Swerving in or between lanes
  • Drifting into the oncoming lane
  • Going slower than the traffic flow or posted speed limit
  • Going a lot faster than the speed limit or the traffic flow
  • Weaving around cars
  • Abruptly or needlessly changing speed
  • Stopping longer than necessary at an intersection
  • Failing to signal or suddenly changing direction

It should be no surprise that many of the signs of distracted driving are similar to those for intoxicated or fatigued motorists since all of them impede a driver’s awareness and ability.

What to do next

If you see a distracted driver when you’re behind the wheel, keep a safe distance. Slow down or speed up to get away from the driver if necessary. If your concerns are strong enough, you can pull yourself over to safety and call the police to report the driver’s distracted behavior.

If you or a loved one are injured or killed in a vehicle crash of any kind, it’s important you know your legal rights and speak to an experienced and local Arizona attorney. He or she can handle the insurance companies and may help you get the fair financial compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.