Defensive driving is every driver’s responsibility. When other drivers choose to drive in a reckless or negligent manner, it is up to you to make sure you are staying safe on the road. The first step in staying safe in identifying the road’s potential threats is knowing what to look for.

Car accidents claim the lives of thousands of people every day. In the moments before an accident, there is little someone can do to change a reckless driver’s behavior, but it is possible to avoid them. What are the signs of a negligent driver?

Changes in speed

A driver who is not paying attention to the road is not able to effectively regulate their vehicle. This negligence results in a driver slowing or speeding erratically. This can result in other unaware drivers colliding with them, or the reckless driver realizing their mistake and overcorrecting and causing an accident.

Swerving

Like speed, the direction of a vehicle needs constant attention. If a driver takes even one of their hands off the wheel to try and grab something just out of reach, they may begin to pull on the wheel and drift out of their lane. A drifting driver can sideswipe another driver or wind up crashing off the road or into oncoming traffic.

Using a cell phone

An attentive driver should always be facing forward. If their head is turned toward their lap, there is a good chance they are looking at their phone, and they are certainly not focused on the road. It is easier to spot a driver using their phone at night when the glow from the screen lights up their face.

Aggression

When a driver is blaring their car horn, tailgating, and using wild hand gestures, you can bet they are suffering from road rage. When a driver blinds themselves in anger, they often cannot see anything else around them. It can be easy for an enraged driver to not even see cars immediately next to them.

What to do when you spot a dangerous driver

If you suspect someone is a reckless driver, do not speed past them. Your actions may startle them, and they may overreact and cause an accident. Allow them to gain considerable distance ahead of you, and stay cautious from your position.