Many people reach out to car accident attorneys after sustaining injuries caused by an inattentive driver. While technology has made the road safer, the same distractions still exist. Learning how to spot erratic behavior signs can help keep you safe wherever your travels take you. 

How Can You Tell If a Driver Is Distracted? 

1. Swerving 

The most common and dangerous sign is swerving. Weather patterns, road conditions, and intoxication can all cause drivers to act erratically. However, cellphones are now the leading cause of car accidents. It takes approximately five seconds to respond to a text message, decreasing road attention by 400%. Given the average speed of a moving car, drivers travel the length of a football field in that duration

Even if the driver doesn't respond, the notification can act as a distraction. Many people feel increased stress to reply to messages, especially when they're work-related. The driver may have their eyes on the road, but their mind is elsewhere, leading to a potential accident. 

If you notice swerving from a car ahead of you, allow for more space between you and the vehicle. If possible, pull over and contact the authorities. Pulling over can also help if there's an erratic driver behind you. Increasing speed to expand your distance is a dangerous gamble, especially when other drivers are on the road. It's safer to pull over to avoid the distracted motorist. 

2. Eating

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In a 2021 survey, almost 60% of responding motorists admitted to eating while driving. While tacos and burgers are convenient, two hands are still usually needed to unwrap them. Drinking coffee or water can also be distracting at extreme temperatures.

Despite its prevalence, Arizona doesn't have a law against eating or drinking soft beverages on the road. However, the driver would still be considered distracted. If a collision occurs, a car accident attorney can help you claim damages for injuries sustained due to a negligent motorist.

3. Interacting 

Whether it's over the phone, with a passenger, or a child in the backseat, conversing while driving is dangerous. During conversations, drivers may gesticulate or turn to look at the phone or person they're speaking with. They're likely more focused on the conversation than they are on the road. It's best to keep several more car lengths apart while driving near a distracted motorist. 


You may take every precaution on the road, but that doesn't mean other drivers are doing the same. For decades, Ely, Bettini, Ulman, Rosenblatt, & Ozer, Attorneys at Law, has held negligent motorists accountable. Their client-centered practice is based in Phoenix, AZ, and is one of the oldest and most respected in the state. With the help of their car accident attorneys, you'll devise a customized strategy to obtain compensation for your injuries and damaged property. For more information on their practice areas, visit their website. To schedule an appointment, call them at (800) 303-2144.