Distracted drivers: You see them but do they see you?

Whether you're part of a busy daily commute in Louisiana or you are more of a casual driver who ventures out from time to time, there's obviously a certain amount of risk involved each time you get behind the wheel. However, it's often possible to reach a destination unscathed, provided you and other nearby motorists are acting with caution, in accordance with all traffic safety regulations.

The problem is, even though you might be a good driver, it doesn't mean the person in the vehicle next to you, in front of you or behind you is. Accidents happen every single day and many result from driver negligence. The slightest distraction is enough to cause a very serious collision that results in injury or death to one or more persons.

Signs that a distracted driver is in your midst

Let's say you're heading out to a luncheon to enjoy some good old fashioned creole fare with friends. While it's certainly not your job to police the road, it's always helpful to remain alert and aware of your surroundings while driving. If you see any of the following things happening, it might mean a distracted driver is nearby:

  • Erratic speed adjustment: Drivers who are texting or otherwise preoccupied often speed up or slow down without warning, and not in conjunction with current traffic patterns.
  • Drifting to one side or the other: If a car near you is spending more time edging toward the far sides of its lane, rather than maintaining a safe position in the center of the lane, it's usually a red flag that something's not right with the driver.
  • Staying stopped at green lights: Although seeing a vehicle come to a stop at a red light is not a problem, if that same car remains stopped long after the light turns green, it's typically a clear sign of driver distraction.
  • Dangerous maneuvers: Sudden weaving in and out of traffic flow, cutting other drivers off or unsafe passing are all evidence that you and other motorists in the vicinity may be at risk for an accident.

Just because you see a distracted driver, does not mean he or she sees you. Drivers focused on taking selfie pictures or sending text messages are not paying attention to what's going on around them.

Anticipation, alertness and action

Being a conscientious driver can help save lives. If you know that a nearby motorist is exhibiting signs of distracted driving, and you are able to safely exit the roadway or, at least, give that driver a wide berth or pass him or her without increasing your risk for an accident, that is often the way to avoid disaster. In some situations, this may not be possible as a distracted driver may come upon you so suddenly, and before you realize what's happening, you've already been hit.

Suffering injury in a car accident caused by a distracted driver is not only emotionally traumatic, it might also mean a long period of recovery with much physical pain and undue financial strain in the meantime. A negligent driver can be held legally accountable for the carelessness that caused your injury. During these trying times, an experienced Louisiana personal injury attorney can explain and guide you through the process of seeking compensation for the damages you've suffered, which could bring you much-needed peace of mind.