Some of us have been in situations where we believe that another driver on the road may be impaired or under the influence of alcohol. It can be a very scary experience and one that we want to avoid at all costs.
As a driver, one of the most dangerous obstacles you will face is sharing the road with drunk or impaired drivers. The holidays can be particularly hazardous, as statistics each year show that both the number of DUIs and alcohol-related accidents significantly increases during this time.
If you are ever in a situation like this, follow these steps to ensure that you, your loved ones, and others on the road do not become victims of drunk driving accidents.
Keep Your Distance.
If you notice that another vehicle is swerving, braking suddenly, driving unusually slow, or displaying any other signs of drunk driving, keep your vehicle as far away from theirs as possible. Avoid driving in front of their vehicle or right beside it. Instead, stay several car lengths back. This can allow you to keep your eye on the vehicle and make any sudden adjustments in case their driving behaviors put you in potential danger.
Be Extra Cautious at Intersections.
Intersections are one of the most common areas for accidents to occur. The Federal Highway Administration (FHA) reports that about 40% of all crashes involve intersections. Many impaired drivers fail to stop at red lights and stop signs and obey other traffic signals, which can lead to devastating results. When pulling out in an intersection, even if you have a green light, always look both ways to ensure there are no cars running through.
Unfortunately, even the most careful and defensive drivers may still wind up being hit by drunk drivers. Seatbelts are your number one defense against fatal injury in the event of an accident with one. The National Highway Safety Traffic Administration reports that nearly half of the people killed in car accidents in 2017 were not wearing seatbelts. Drivers, make sure your passengers have their seatbelts fastened and do so yourself.
Notify Law Enforcement.
Lastly, contact local law enforcement or call 9-1-1 and report the driver if you feel their behavior is dangerous. Even if you get off the same road as the potentially drunk driver, they could still end up injuring others. Make note of the vehicle make and model, license plate number, and the physical features of the driver.
Even if the driver is not actually drunk or impaired, keep your distance from them. Their behavior could mean that the driver is distracted, which can still lead to devastating accidents. If you or a loved one is injured in an alcohol-related accident, turn to the Jackson personal injury attorneys at Richard Schwartz & Associates Injury Lawyer for help pursuing your full financial recovery.