Proactively spotting the warning signs of a drunk or intoxicated driver can help you stay safer in what is, admittedly, an unsafe situation.
Identifying a potentially drunk driver doesn’t guarantee that an accident won’t occur. However, knowing the warning signs is a great defensive-driving measure that can help to avoid potentially dangerous drivers.
Clear indications that another driver could be under the influence
According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), here are 8 signs that a fellow motorist may be impaired:
- Poor speed control: Suddenly speeding up or slowing down, seemingly without reason
- Tailgating: Drivers that follow too closely behind another car
- Failure to stay in lanes: Weaving, zig-zagging, or not maintaining their vehicle within their lane
- Near misses: Almost colliding with curbs, objects, or other vehicles
- Signaling issues: Failing to signal, or signaling wrongly, when turning or changing lanes
- Lights: Driving without headlights at night
- Turning: Abruptly or illegally turning
- Slow response time: Being delayed at traffic intersections, or failing to properly slow down or stop at road construction or school crossings
One sign alone may not be conclusive, but a driver that is exhibiting more than one of the above signs may be a good indication the driver is impaired.
What can be done if you spot a potential drunk driver?
Now that you have identified a potentially intoxicated or impaired driver, what can be done? Increase your distance from the potentially dangerous driver immediately. After putting distance between both vehicles, the situation can be better accessed. Consider reporting the issue to law enforcement — but pull over before calling. Note the license plate, description of the car, driver, and its current location and direction traveling for reporting purposes (if you can).
If involved in an accident with a drunk or impaired driver, you have every right to expect compensation for your injuries and losses. An experienced advocate can help protect your interests.