Like a terrifying video game, our roads have become populated by texters. Distracted by their obsessive smartphone messaging, texters present dangerous road obstacles and make driving even more unpredictable and risky. Many articles exist that explain why texting and driving is bad. But clearly many people are not going to listen–and they’re still going to drive.
So, if you’re a responsible driver, you still have to avoid the texters so that you don’t end up in a car accident. Here are four defensive driving tips specific to dealing with these irresponsible distracted drivers.
- Look for erratic drivers during weekday work hours. When you’re driving to work in the morning or back home in the evening, or you’re out and about during the day, look out for weaving, erratic drivers. Chances are they’re not drunk- at least not on alcohol. They’re instead most likely drunk on information overload and they can’t put their phones down. Pass these people ASAP, give them plenty of distance, and identify them as a risk so that you anticipate dangerous driving maneuvers from them.
- Watch out for people who don’t move for a long time after the light turns red. Sometimes, people daydream at red lights. But today, the more likely culprit is texting. If you have to beep your horn because the driver ahead of you is likely texting on their phone, then you can keep an eye on the vehicle as you continue driving at higher speeds. Don’t assume the driver’s attention will magically return after the light turns green.
- Watch out for cars full of bouncy, energetic people. Don’t assume that energetic people in a car are responsibly texting on behalf of the driver. Counterintuitively, cars full of teens or young adults who seem excited in their car are usually in a social mindset rather than a cautious driving mindset. Because of peer pressure and social norms, it’s likely that everyone—including the driver—may be texting in that car. Treat these cars as a potential accident risk, even if the driver hasn’t done anything dangerous yet.
- Practice defensive driving basics to protect yourself from personal injury. The worst thing you can do to “get back at” texters is to return bad behavior with bad behavior such as following them too closely, speeding to get around them, or showing aggression. Leave plenty of room between you and the next car, follow the speed limit, and wear your seat belt.
Identifying possible texters on the road is half the battle toward avoiding an accident with personal injury as a result. Apply these tips to stay safe.
If you do find yourself in a car accident that involved texting and need some guidance, reach out to us for a free consultation.