After a five-decade decline in motor vehicle fatalities, car and truck accident deaths are on the rise again due, in part, to the use of smart phones, tablets, and other electronic devices. Distracted driving accidents injured 391,000 people and killed nearly 3,500 in 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
In response to the increase in accident-related motor vehicle injuries and deaths, law enforcement officers all across the country are working to develop new ways to combat the dangers of distracted driving.
One such tactic involves the use of a “spotter van.” Highway patrol officers positioned in the spotter van watch for distracted motorists and signal a patrol car that's traveling ahead to pull the motorist over to discuss distracted driving behaviors such as wearing headphones, talking on a cell phone, texting while driving, grooming, or eating or drinking behind the wheel. Departments using the spotter van method hope that it will help them prevent serious distracted driving accidents, injuries, and deaths.
While highway troopers in spotter vans can't prevent all distracted driving accidents, learning how to spot drivers who are distracted behind the wheel can be extremely beneficial for the average motorist. Law enforcement officers recommend watching for the following signs, which may indicate that a driver isn't paying attention to the road:
- Delayed responses to traffic lights or signage
- Veering in and out of lanes
- Drifting toward the shoulder or center median
- Driving too fast or too slow for the flow of traffic
- Sudden and unexplained braking
After spotting a distracted driver, the best thing to do is give him a wide berth and report him to the highway patrol.
Do You Need a Car Accident Lawyer?
If you were injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries and other damages. The experienced car accident lawyers with Holton Law can help you fight for the financial award you deserve. Contact Holton Law to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation analysis of your distracted driving car accident case.