Drunk drivers are one of the greatest threats to public safety and life in today’s world. Drunk driving accidents claim several thousands of lives every year, and a majority of those lives are innocent.
Signs of Drunk Drivers
- Drunk drivers are seldom able to properly stay inside a single lane. You may see a drunk driver driving in between lanes, drifting across the road at an angle, or weaving aimlessly in and out of the lane. They will also be seen driving on the wrong side of the road or driving on the shoulder.
- The car will make very wide turns.
- Drunk drivers have extremely poor reaction times, and as a result they will commonly be seen nearly colliding into other objects or cars. This pattern, eventually, usually ends with the drunk driver actually colliding into something or someone else. If you see a car repeatedly almost hitting things, it’s a pretty clear sign that this driver is drunk.
- Drunk drivers usually don’t remember to turn the headlights on.
- We usually think of drunk drivers as speed demons, recklessly weaving through traffic. While this is sometimes true, drunk drivers sometimes also drive incredibly slow—more than 10 miles below the speed limit. A sober driver wouldn’t behave this way, so a very slowly moving car could mean a drunk driver.
- Drunk drivers often fixate on things, especially lights. This comes into play when the drunk driver sees the tail lights of another car. The drunk driver will be seen following that car very closely, tailgating it, and copying its lane changes, turns, and sometimes speeds.
- Drunk drivers often leave signals on that are obviously irrelevant and inconsistent with what they are doing.
- Drunk drivers also randomly brake. Sometimes they’ll just be jerking their car around with their erratic braking patterns, other times they’ll be stopped at inappropriate places, like green lights, empty crosswalks or just the middle of the road.
- Because of their slowed reaction times, drunk drivers are typically poor at responding to traffic signals. For instance, they will be much less than effective at stopping their car (either suddenly stopped or stopped too late), and they will be slow to go again once the light has turned green.
- The most obvious indication of drunk driving is if you have a view of the driver, and he or she is visibly intoxicated. The driver might be leaning forward against the steering wheel, or the driver’s eyes might seem fixated on something unnaturally. If you see them clearly just drinking alcohol while driving, that’s also a good hint.
If a car on the road is showing any or a combination of these signs there is a good chance that the driver is drunk. You are not responsible for validating that information, however, so if you have your suspicions, just do the following things to try to keep yourself and everyone else safe, even if you aren’t 100% sure that the other driver is drunk.
What to Do
- Stay a safe distance away from the suspected drunk driver if you are behind the drunk driver..
- Get out of the way and keep your awareness of your surroundings high. Drunk drivers act in unexpected and unreasonable ways, so you must do your best to keep out of the way so that he or she cannot affect you.
- Make sure that you are wearing your safety belt, and check that any other passengers in your car also have their safety belts on as well.
- Do not try to pass the car.
- Don’t follow the car too closely, because the car could suddenly stop, randomly in the middle of the road.
- Don’t speed, run traffic lights, or break any other traffic laws in an attempt to keep up with or follow the driver. It is dangerous and reckless of yourself to do so.
- Do not try to stop the drunk driver’s car or confront the driver. This is not your responsibility, and you would be putting your life at risk.
- Stop and pull over if you can so that you can call the police.
- Call the police and report suspected drunk driving. Describe what you witnessed and where the car is headed. If you were able to have a passenger write down information such as the color, make, model, license plate or other distinguishable features of the car, convey this information to the police as well to help their process of finding this individual.
Drunk driving is dangerous and it is not looked upon or treated kindly by the law. It is irresponsible and there is no excuse for such an act. Drunk driving causes serious accidents that can change innocent people’s lives forever, as well as their family’s lives. If you are injured by a drunk driver, it is important to seek retribution and justice immediately with a strong and experienced personal injury lawyer.
Olivia Lin is a blogger for The Law Offices of W.T. Johnson, a personal injury law firm based in Dallas, Texas. She believes that road safety is everyone’s responsibility and is strongly passionate about bringing irresponsible drivers who hurt others to justice.
Photo Credits: minimoniotaku