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Stay Alert for These Signs to Identify a Drunk Driver

Sharing the road with drunk drivers is a terrifying reality. Their impaired judgment and delayed reactions significantly increase the risk of accidents, endangering themselves and everyone around them. These drivers can harm other drivers. Victims can file a claim and secure compensation for their losses. However, to do that, you will need a good drunk driving accident lawyer.

Drunk drivers aren't always easy to spot. However, by recognizing the warning signs, you can take steps to protect yourself and potentially prevent an accident.

Erratic Driving Behaviors:

Drunk drivers often exhibit erratic and unpredictable driving behaviors. Here are some key red flags to watch out for:
  • Swerving: This can manifest as weaving in and out of lanes, drifting towards the shoulder, or having difficulty staying centered within a lane.
  • Straddling the Center Line: Drunk drivers may have trouble judging the width of their vehicle and their position on the road, causing them to straddle the centerline or drift into oncoming traffic.
  • Sudden Braking or Acceleration: Impaired drivers often have slower reaction times and struggle to anticipate road conditions. This can lead to erratic braking for minor reasons or sudden, jerky accelerations.
  • Improper Signaling or Lane Changes: Drunk drivers may forget to signal turns or make unsafe lane changes without checking blind spots.
  • Slow or Inconsistent Speeds: While erratic speeding is a concern, drunk drivers can also drive unusually slow, causing frustration and impeding traffic flow.

Unusual Vehicle Operation:

Beyond erratic driving patterns, some operational issues can indicate a drunk driver:
  • Headlights Off at Night: Driving with headlights off at night significantly reduces visibility for both the driver and other motorists. This is a serious lapse in judgment and a clear sign of potential impairment.
  • Slow Response to Traffic Signals: Drunk drivers may have difficulty processing visual cues and react slowly to traffic lights, stop signs, or yield signs.
  • Nearly Colliding with Objects or Other Vehicles: Pay attention to vehicles that narrowly avoid hitting curbs, signs, or other cars. This can indicate a lack of spatial awareness and impaired control of the vehicle.

Look for Physical Signs of Intoxication:

While not always definitive, physical signs can offer clues about a driver's condition:
  • Driver Imbalance: If you pull up next to a vehicle at a stoplight and notice the driver struggling to maintain balance, it's a cause for concern.
  • Slurred Speech or Difficulty Speaking: If you have had the unfortunate experience of interacting with a suspected drunk driver, slurred speech or difficulty forming sentences can be a sign of intoxication.

What to Do if You Spot a Drunk Drive

If you suspect a driver is under the influence, here's what you should do:
  • Don't Engage with the Driver: Avoid attempting to confront the drunk driver or get their attention. This could escalate the situation and put yourself at risk.
  • Increase Your Distance: Maintain a safe distance from the suspected drunk driver. If possible, change lanes and put some distance between your vehicle and theirs.
  • Pull Over and Call 911: If you feel safe doing so, pull over to a well-lit location and call 911. Provide the dispatcher with the vehicle's description, license plate number, location, and your observations about the driver's behavior.
  • Remember: You are not a law enforcement officer. Your primary responsibility is to ensure your own safety and the safety of others on the road. By staying alert for the signs of drunk driving and taking appropriate action, you can contribute to a safer driving environment for everyone.

Final Thoughts

If you have unfortunately been involved in an accident caused by a drunk driver, seeking legal counsel is essential. A qualified driving accident lawyer can help you navigate the legal process, fight for the compensation you deserve for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, and hold drunk drivers accountable for their actions.