How to Spot a Negligent Driver

We all recognize a negligent driver when we see one. They often drive recklessly, either speeding, tailgating, or weaving while texting. They are dangerous to themselves and other drivers or pedestrians on the side of the road. If a driver is not following the rules of the road, they can be charged for negligence, whether they cause an accident or not. Be informed on how to spot a negligent driver so that if you are in an accident, the other driver may be charged appropriately. 

Cotton Law Firm has locations in Fayetteville, Durham, and Lumberton, NC. Were you in an accident caused by another driver’s negligence in one of these areas? Contact us immediately to start your claim.

Signs of Negligence

Driving is a privilege, and if found putting other people’s welfare at risk, a dangerous driver can face serious consequences. Below are some of the signs of negligence on the road.


Speeding is a common form of negligent driving. It involves driving faster than the posted speed limit and driving too fast for road conditions. If it was raining at the time of your accident, the other driver could be charged with speeding even if they were driving under the speed limit. 


Tailgating can be done purposely – in a fit of road rage – or because the driver is distracted, drowsy, drunk, or speeding. It’s reckless because there is no time to react if the car in front slows or stops. It can be nerve-wracking and even distracting if you’re being tailgated. If so, pull over so they can pass. If you believe they are drunk, call 911.


Weaving is done when a driver is in a hurry and weaves between traffic and crosses lines to get ahead. This is a blatant disregard for the rules of the road and is dangerous for themselves and other drivers – especially if done on a thruway or during rush hour traffic.

Failure to Use Turn Signals

Turn signals alert other drivers around you that you are slowing down with the intent to turn. Failing to use them can cause accidents on the road. For example, if you are driving 55 mph and intend to turn left into a driveway but don’t turn on your turning signal, the vehicle behind you will not know your intention and could rear-end your vehicle when you slow down or stop.

Short Stopping

Short stopping falls in the same vein as tailgating. It happens when a driver slams on their brakes due to being distracted, drunk, or drowsy. It can also be caused by road rage if someone happens to be tailgating at the same time, which only escalates the issue.

Running Red Lights

Running a red light can lead to the most detrimental accidents. By rolling through a red light or being distracted and blowing through it completely, devastation and death can occur. If you are hit by someone who went through a red light, you have a case of negligence, and more.

Failure to Yield

Failing to move over for a car on the side of the road or for people walking, running, or biking is extremely dangerous. It’s also dangerous not to adhere to yield signs since it’s the same as running a stop sign if another car is coming. If an accident is caused due to a failure to yield, the driver can be charged with negligence.

Distracted Driving

Of course, distracted driving is negligence on the road. This includes talking, texting, doing makeup, etc. On average, a driver’s eyes are off the road for 5 seconds while texting. According to, if you’re driving 55 mph, that is like driving the entire length of a football field without looking up!

Contact an Attorney

Many factors can lead to negligence on the road – but it can be summed up as any act that puts other drivers or pedestrians at risk due to a disregard for the rules of the road.

Contact us if you were in an accident near Fayetteville, Lumberton, or Durham, NC, and believe a negligent driver caused it. The sooner you can get started on the claim, the better!