Drunk drivers endanger everyone with whom they share the road. The dangers inherent to driving while impaired are well established. Strict DUI laws and campaigns by numerous public organizations attest to exactly how dangerous drunk driving is and to the vast extent of public concern regarding this matter. The fact remains, however, that drunk drivers are out there. Knowing how to identify these dangerous drivers in our midst, however, can help.
Remain Aware of Your Surroundings
When you are behind the wheel of your car, your priority should always be driving safely. A major component of driving safely is remaining aware of your surroundings and of what is going on in the traffic all around you. If a vehicle – due to its erratic movements or for any other reason – captures your attention, it is time to assess the warning signs. If a driver draws attention to himself or herself on the road, there is a reason for it – and it might be impairment.
Telltale Signs of a Drunk Driver
While a drunk driver can exhibit nearly any erratic driving behavior, several signs are often particularly indicative of drunk driving:
- Drivers who float in and out of their lanes
- Drivers who fail to turn on their headlights or drive with their high beams on
- Drivers who drive too slowly (in a misguided attempt to compensate for impairment)
- Drivers who tailgate
- Drivers who stop at green lights or remain stopped after red lights turn green
- Drivers who ignore road signs, signals, and traffic lights
- Drivers who drive dangerously fast
- Drivers who go the wrong way on one-way roads
Any of these actions are dangerous, but drunk drivers often engage in several at one time. If you spot a driver whom you think may be impaired, it is time to take action.
Your Best Course of Action
If you spot a driver whom you believe is drunk or otherwise impaired, it is important that you act quickly to help protect yourself and other motorists on the road. First and foremost, give the driver all the room that you possibly can. Drunk drivers are erratic drivers, and there is simply no way to predict what the motorist might do next.
After distancing yourself from the drunk driver, leave the roadway as soon as it is safe to do so and call 911. Provide the operator with as much information about the driver’s whereabouts, the make and model of the vehicle, and the dangerous driving that you witnessed. Your intervention might help the authorities take a dangerous motorist off the road, and you could help save a life.