Motor operators impaired by alcohol or controlled substances pose a significant danger not just to themselves, but to you and everyone else on the road.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that one person perishes in an accident involving a drunk driver every 45 minutes. Even if you carefully follow every traffic law and focus intently on the road, you can find yourself at heightened risk of becoming involved in a wreck because of drunk drivers. It is important to recognize signs of impairment in nearby motor operators.
Indicators of intoxication
Behaviors like swerving, hugging the line in the center of the road, tailgating and other poor driving practices are often the result of intoxication. Drunk drivers also often neglect to obey traffic laws, speeding, running red lights and forgetting to use their signals properly. They may repeatedly brake or accelerate over short distances as if they experience difficulty regulating their speed. In contrast, driving exactly the speed limit can also be an indicator of impairment, since it signals the driver is trying his or her best to maintain control.
These do not necessarily always indicate drunkenness. Drivers exhibiting these behaviors may also be sick or tired. They may even be new or poor drivers. However, it is still important to be cautious around those who show these signs.
Potential safety precautions
Staying a safe distance away from a suspected drunk driver can help you avoid becoming involved in a wreck. The other action you can take in conjunction with this is to report the driver to the police. Calling 911 can get the driver off the road so that other drivers can be safe as well as you.
Intoxicated drivers are a danger to any travelers, including pedestrians, passengers and other drivers. Keeping an eye out for signs of drunk driving can help keep you and others safe.