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It seems like every day there is a new story of some horrific traffic accident caused by a distracted driver. While many states have taken steps to ban cellphone use for people operating a vehicle, drivers still make the choice to talk, text or even update their Facebook statuses while behind the wheel. Recent studies have shown that people that try to text and drive are 23 times more likely to either cause a car accident or be involved in one.

Fortunately, there are signs you can look for the next time you drive through Brentwood that may alert you to a distracted driver. Since distracted drivers often display the same indicators that drunk drivers display, you may be familiar with some of the signs already.

Watch for these signs

For example, watch for drivers that are excessively speeding or going much slower than the flow of traffic. Also, erratic changes in speed is a sign of a distracted person behind the wheel. Drivers that weave in and out of traffic or drift within their respective lanes may also be multitasking. If you see a car taking too long at a traffic light or stop sign, this could also be an indication that the driver is texting or doing something other than paying attention to the road.

If you suspect another driver is distracted while behind the wheel, there are certain actions you can take to avoid an accident. The first thing you should do is assume that the other driver does not see you (or other vehicles) at all. Give this driver as much space as possible since it is impossible to anticipate what he will or will not do. Either try to get far enough ahead or fall behind so that the distracted driver is no longer a danger to you.

Report the driver

If you cannot take any evasive action to avoid someone driving dangerously, call 911 and report the driver. Be clear about what you are witnessing, such as swerving, excessive speeding, or any other behavior that is dangerous to others on the road. Whatever you do, do not take matters into your own hands. By acting like a vigilante, you make end up causing an accident that otherwise would not have happened if you had simply let the police handle it.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident with a distracted driver in the Brentwood area, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries and the damages to your vehicle.