Protecting Yourself from Intoxicated Drivers
Intoxicated drivers are one of the most serious dangers a person can face on the road. Although you may take the appropriate steps to stay in accordance with driving laws by never getting behind the wheel after drinking alcohol, others may not do the same.
Unfortunately, this leads to serious accidents that can result in tragedy. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, nearly 10,000 drunk driving accidents occurred in 2011 alone. To prevent yourself from becoming part of these statistics, there are several important techniques to learn for protecting yourself from intoxicated drivers.
Recognize the Signs of Intoxication
If you are a safe driver, then you probably already know how to notice the signs of intoxication in your friends and family. However, noticing that another driver is intoxicated can take some careful observation skills.
Intoxicated drivers will generally exhibit several obvious signs that their driving is impaired. Be on the lookout for cars that make abrupt movements, swerve, or are going well above or below the speed limit. An intoxicated driver may also display delayed reactions to traffic signals or exhibit erratic braking.
Always Wear a Seatbelt
Wearing a seatbelt is your best defense when sharing the road with an intoxicated driver. Although you may take every step to avoid an accident, wearing a seatbelt will provide you with physical protection should you be hit by an impaired driver.
While there are many reasons why you should buckle up every time you get in the car, preventing a tragic injury or death at the hands of a drunk driver is one more reason to use this important safety tool.
Be Extra Vigilant at Night and on Holidays
It is always important to be alert for intoxicated drivers; however, there are certain times of the day or week when it is more likely for drunk drivers to be on the road. Many people mistakenly choose to drive home in the evenings after drinking alcohol at social events and bars.
These events also make it more likely for intoxicated drivers to be on the road on weekends or during a holiday. Remaining extra vigilant during these times can save you from a serious accident.
Contact Law Enforcement Agencies
In addition to knowing how to identify an intoxicated driver, it is also important to know what to do if you see one on the road. If possible, you will want to move away from the intoxicated driver and find a safe place to park while contacting local law enforcement authorities.
When calling, try to have a general description of the vehicle as well as a license plate number. This will assist the police in identifying the suspicious vehicle.
If it is not possible to leave the road until the intoxicated driver has passed, then you will need to practice your defensive driving. First, maintain a safe distance from the suspicious driver. Change lanes if they are in front of or behind you, and be sure to use your signals. If they are headed straight at you toward a head-on collision, then honk your horn, flash your lights and pull to the right while stopping.
Knowing what to do if you spot an intoxicated driver on the road can make the difference between a serious accident and a safe driving experience. By being on the lookout for suspicious signs that could point to an intoxicated driver, you will be able to take the appropriate steps to drive defensively and alert the appropriate authorities so that you, and others, will be safe on the road.
The threat of DUI is a serious one, as is the accusation of one. If you have been accused of a DUI, it is wise to seek the legal advice of an attorney specializing in DUI cases.