The risks of driving while under the influence has been well documented. Alcohol can not only dull your senses and reflexes, but it can also affect cognitive reasoning. Unfortunately, for those of us who take these risks seriously, there are still many other drivers who actively choose to ignore them.
The Bureau of Transportation Statistics estimates that over four-million drivers a year get behind the wheel after they’ve consumed too much alcohol. These foolish acts account for more than 10,000 DUI (driving under the influence) deaths per year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Dos And Dont's Of Avoiding A Crash When Near A Drunk Driver
So, what can you do—besides refraining from drinking and driving—to avoid these tragically poor decision makers? Since alcohol impairs motor functions, dangerous drivers give off signals of their inebriation. Once you identify the signs of a drunk driver, you can then follow these dos and don’ts for escaping a catastrophic crash.
What To Do When You Spot A Suspected Drunk Driver
Stay far behind the suspected drunk driver.
Make sure you have at least three to four car lengths between your vehicle and the potentially dangerous vehicle. This will allow you adequate stopping and maneuvering space in case the drunk driver loses control.
Get out of the way and expect the unexpected.
Drunk drivers can be completely oblivious to their own actions and can be highly unpredictable. Stay as cautious and alert as possible, and try to get away from the drunk driver as quickly and safely as you can without having to pass the car.
Wear your safety belt.
In a case where you can’t avoid the driver altogether, seat belts are the best defense against catastrophic injuries for you and your passengers.
Stop and call the police.
When you’re able to, pull over and dial 9-1-1 (you can also dial “#SP” on your cell phone for emergency traffic assistance). Make sure you tell the dispatch officer the location in which you spotted the vehicle, the driver’s behavior, the direction in which he was headed, and a description of the vehicle. Not only will this protect you from any harm, but you’ll also be helping to get the driver off the road before he hurts anyone else—including himself.
What Not To Do When You Spot A Suspected Drunk Driver
Do not try to pass the car.
You never know if or when the driver may lose control of his car.
Do not follow too closely.
The driver may stop, swerve, or turn without warning. If you’re too close, you may not have adequate time to maneuver.
Do not attempt to engage the driver, or act in the capacity of the police.
The best thing you can do is inform traffic control of the danger and allow them to do their jobs. You can never predict the mindset of an intoxicated individual, so don’t put yourself at risk. Let the professionals handle it.
If It Isn’t Your Fault—Don’t Take The Blame
Unfortunately, there is only so much you can do to stay safe and protect your family. One of the scariest realities of driving—and life for that matter—is that you can’t control the reckless, idiotic, and dangerous actions of others. However, you can fight back!
Have You Or A Loved One Been Injured By A Drunk Driver?
If you've been injured by a drunk driver in Texas you need to speak with an experienced drunk driver injury attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Colleyville office directly at 817.380.4888 to schedule your free consultation.
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