You face the very real risk of encountering a distracted driver just about every time you get on the road. They’re that common. They cause accidents every day, and a moment of distraction could change your life forever if that driver hits you. 

You can’t force others to stop getting distracted, but you can become a better defensive driver and try to avoid those you think may be distracted behind the wheel. Look out for some of the following signs:

  • Drifting in and out of the lane
  • Speeding up and slowing down for no reason
  • Remaining stopped when a red light turns green
  • Weaving through the other cars on the road
  • Driving far too slowly because they’re looking at a phone
  • Driving far too fast because they haven’t looked at the speedometer
  • Not adhering to the speed and flow of traffic in any way
  • Tailgating you without seeming to notice that they’re doing so

If you spot these signs — maybe the light turns green and the driver ahead of you doesn’t move — do what you can to keep your distance. When they make that critical error, you don’t want to be in the closest car or your odds of an accident go way up. Change lanes, adjust your speed, watch the car carefully or choose a different route. People who get distracted are a threat just like drunk drivers, and you do not want to take any chances. 

That said, you can’t always avoid a crash. If you get hit by someone who was distracted, you may have a right to financial compensation for medical bills and more.