Vermont and New Hampshire may be relatively small states, but they both contain major roads and highways that can be especially dangerous if they contain distracted drivers.
Distracted driving continues to be a major contributor to serious or fatal car accidents, which is unfortunate, because distracted driving is preventable.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that approximately 3,000 people die in an accident involving a distracted driver each year.
A good way to reduce your chance of a distracted driving accident is to learn how to spot distracted drivers on the road and avoid them.
Types of distracted driving
There are a few different types of distracted driving. Visual distractions occur when a driver takes their eyes off the road to look at their phone, eat, talk to passengers or look at scenery on either side of the road.
Manual distractions are when a driver takes their hands off the wheel to eat or drink, adjust a navigation system or reach for items in the vehicle.
Cognitive distractions are actions that take a driver’s mind off the primary task of driving. Talking on the phone is a typical cognitive distraction because your mind is focused on the phone call instead of driving. However, even simply daydreaming about something else can be a cognitive distraction.
Some common signs of distracted driving include:
- Driving too fast or too slowly
- Failing to use turn signals
- Running red lights
- Swerving in and out of lanes
When you see another driver looking down, they are likely looking at their phone. Many drivers also hold their phones up, making it clear to anyone around them that they are looking at their phone and distracted.
Many traffic law violations are due to distracted driving
Generally, when you see another vehicle committing traffic law violations, chances are they are driving while distracted. Stay as far away from them as possible and keep plenty of room between your vehicles.
Another way to reduce your chance of an accident is to practice defensive driving. This means constantly being aware of your surroundings by checking your mirrors, not speeding and trying to predict what other drivers will do.
If you are in an accident that you believe was caused by a distracted driver, proving this could be challenging.
Distracted driving is a form of negligence, which is the legal concept that personal injury actions are based on. A driver is often not going to admit that they were distracted, so you must gather other forms of evidence.
Building your case for distracted driving
Talk to witnesses at the scene of the accident who may have observed the other driver’s behavior prior to the crash. Take photographs of the damage and your injuries.
Check to see if there are any cameras around that captured the accident on video. Consider installing a dash cam in your own vehicle in case this happens again in the future.
If you believe the other driver was using their phone at the time of the accident, you might be able to subpoena their phone records to confirm this.
Distracted driving causes numerous injuries and deaths each year. Distracted drivers should be held accountable for their behavior and the legal system provides a way to do that.