4 tips to spot a distracted driver:3
- Veering left or right of center. Thanks to yellow and white lines that flank the roads, it’s easy to tell if the car ahead of you is having a problem driving in a straight line. If they’re veering to the left or right, it’s a pretty good indication that they’re not paying attention to the road ahead of them, making it a good idea for you to pull over or put additional space between yourself and the vehicle in front of you.
- Braking suddenly. One of the biggest dangers associated with distracted driving is that it prevents drivers from slowing down when another applies the brakes. A classic indication of a multitasking motorist is when someone slams on the brakes when a car in front of them stops, seemingly unaware that this person was coming to a stop. Avoiding rear-ending the car in front of you is why you should always have plenty of space between you and other cars.
- Lengthy pauses at intersections. Red means stop and green means go, of course, but when drivers are distracted, it may take them several seconds to get moving again after the light changes. If it takes more than a few seconds for them to react to the green light, that may be an indication they’re fiddling with their cell phones or in some other way not paying attention.
- Headphones in ears. Drivers who have headphones on may not necessarily be using them, but they’re definitely a telltale sign that they’re multitasking, as it usually involves either changing a song on their phone or dialing a phone number. According to the National Safety Council, voice-to-text devices can be just as dangerous as typing texts manually.
To prevent texting while driving, follow these tips:3
- Put your phone out of reach.
- If you are going to use your phone for navigational purposes, make sure that it is mounted to the dashboard.
- Make a commitment to not use your phone while driving.
- Use an app to block incoming texts or calls. Some apps can send an auto response back, letting the sender know that you are driving and will respond when you are parked.
- The DMV reviewed several distracted driving apps4:
- LifeSaver– The app blocks the ability to use your phone while driving and automatically lets loved ones know once you’ve safely arrived at your destination.
- AT&T DriveMode– Helps keep drivers from distraction by blocking any phone talking or texting and driving.
- Mojo – You receive an overall Mojo score based on how often you’re swiping, typing, and taking calls on your phone. For each minute you drive without engaging in these distracting behaviors, you earn one point. When you reach 300 points, you can spin a prize wheel for the chance to win a $5 gift card to Amazon, Starbucks, or Dunkin’ Donuts.