What To Do If A Drunk Driver is Ahead of You

There were 10,497 fatalities due to alcohol-induced car accidents in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Every 50 minutes, a person dies from an alcohol-related car crash, which adds up to 29 fatalities a day in the United States.

Due to these frightening statistics, it is likely that you have or will face a drunk driver on the road putting your life at risk.

What To Do If A Drunk Driver is Ahead of You

Signs of Drunk Drivers Provided by Mothers Against Drunk Driving

So how do you know if a driver is impaired and what do you do if a drunk driver is ahead of you? Be aware of these drunk driving signs, given by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD):

  • Swerving
  • Following too close or tailgating
  • Quick acceleration or deceleration
  • Headlights are off at night
  • Driving slower than 10 mph below the speed limit
  • Turning abruptly, illegally, or making very wide turns
  • Braking excessively or stopping for no reason
  • Braking late for traffic signs/signals
  • Inconsistent use of signals with driving actions or not using them at all
  • Drifting in and out of multiple lanes
  • Driving on an area not meant for vehicles
  • Almost striking or hitting another vehicle, the curb, or an object
  • Straddling the center lane marker
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road and into opposing traffic

What to Do If You Notice A Drunk Driver

If you notice a driver exhibiting these drunk driving signs then here are guidelines on what to do, posted by DrivingSafely.org:

  • Get safe — Stay safe is priority number one. Hang back behind the vehicle and keep a safe following distance by allowing the vehicle to remain several car lengths ahead of you. Another option is getting off the road completely, if possible.
  • Information — If you have a clear and safe visual, make a mental note or have a passenger take down information such as the vehicle’s make, model, color, and license plate.
  • Call for Help — Notify local law enforcement right away. That way, if the person is under the influence they can be pulled over, taken off the road, and you may then be saving a life. Be ready to give as much information as possible to the 911 operator. Describe the drunk driving signs you’ve witnessed, the vehicle’s description, which road they are on, and the direction they’re heading. You may also stay on the phone with the operator until police arrive.
  • Avoid the driver —Don’t attempt to get the driver’s attention, if they are inebriated then they will most likely not listen to you. An attempt would only increase the chances of an accident occurring, it’s safer to maintain some distance.

How to Protect Yourself From Drunk Drivers

The only way to avoid drunk drivers whatsoever would be to not drive at all, which isn’t a likely scenario for most of us. Here are some ways, given by Driving-Tests.org, to be proactive in defending yourself from alcohol-impaired drivers:

  1. Buckle up! —Seatbelts have been proven to reduce the chances of a car crash being fatal.
  2. Hang back — Keep a safe following distance when you see an erratic driver.
  3. Intersection caution — Be extra cautious and take the time to look before going through an intersection as many drunk driving accidents occur at them when drivers fail to obey traffic signs and signals.
  4. Don’t drive at night —Try to abstain from driving late at nights and especially weekend nights.
  5. Holidays —Stay extremely alert while driving as the likelihood of coming into contact with a drunk driver increases.

If you or a loved one were injured from an accident involving a drunk driver, our Sacramento car accident attorneys can help. Call (916) 970-9100 for a free consultation or visit our Sacramento personal injury today.