Cell phones, food, and unruly passengers are all common distractions that can turn a safe driver into a reckless one. A distracted driver can cause catastrophic injuries for themselves and those around them. There is very little that someone can do to stop a driver from being distracted, but we can spot a reckless driver to avoid them.

Car accidents claim the lives of tens of thousands of people each year. By learning how to be a better defensive driver, we can all do our part in making the roads a safe place and save lives. Here are four common signs of a distracted driver to look out for:

Drifting

When a driver is not paying attention to the road for any reason, they may not correctly drive within their lane. Even if the reckless driver is holding on to the wheel, a car that does not drive straight can drift into another lane or off the road. What makes drifting especially dangerous is when a driver notices their mistake and overcorrects their action, as it can result in collisions with other vehicles.

Erratic speeds

Distractions can also cause a driver to not focus on the gas pedal, and they may relax the pressure on the pedal or begin to apply too much. Overcorrecting this behavior can result in a vehicle spinning out or slamming on the brakes and the car behind them colliding with them.

Wild gestures

If you notice a driver waving their arms or shaking their fist at another car, they may be experiencing road rage. Extreme anger can be blinding in a driver’s eyes, and they can lose sight of what is around them in a fit of rage. Even vehicles immediately next to them can vanish when they are focused on the target of their anger.

Head down

Cellphones have become a dangerous distraction for drivers. One of the most telling signals that someone is on their phone while driving is that they are not facing forward. At night, you may also be able to spot the glow of a phone shining on their face. If a driver is not looking at the road, chances are they are not paying attention to it.

Keep an eye out for reckless drivers

When a driver allows themselves to get distracted, they are not looking out for the safety of themselves and everyone around them. If you suspect someone is distracting themselves, give yourself a considerable distance from them. Avoid speeding ahead of them, as it may startle them and cause them to overcorrect their mistake.