They say it takes two to cause a car accident and, in most situations, this is true. While you cannot control the actions of other drivers, you can drive defensively and, therefore, avoid many of the dangers that arise out of other people’s careless behavior. One type of careless behavior you should be on the lookout for is drunk driving.
By knowing the signs that someone is operating a vehicle under the influence, you can keep your distance and stay safe. You can also do your part as a concerned citizen and contact law enforcement when you suspect that another driver has drugs or alcohol in his or her system. Mothers Against Drunk Driving shares a list of the top signs of drunk driving, as well as tips for what you should do if you see an impaired motorist.
Signs of drunk driving
Drunk drivers are fairly easy to spot on the roadways, as they typically engage in erratic driving behaviors. The most common signs of inebriated motorists are as follows:
- Weaving in and out of lanes or straddling the lane
- Braking erratically or stopping without cause
- Accelerating or decelerating suddenly
- Almost hitting objects
- Driving 10 mph or more below the speed limit
- Going in the wrong direction down the road
Additionally, if you see someone driving without headlights at night, making abrupt or illegal turns or reacting slowly to traffic signals, it could be a sign of an intoxicated driver.
What to do when you suspect a drunk driver
If you think you see an impaired driver, you have a responsibility to do what you can to get him or her off the road. This does not mean take matters into your own hands but rather calling 911. If possible, try to get the license plate number. Get a good look at the vehicle and try to remember the make, model, color and any distinguishing features. However, MADD warns you to not compromise your safety while trying to get this information. You should also avoid getting too close to the vehicle, attempting to pass the vehicle or trying to get the driver to pull over.