Safe operation of your vehicle protects yourself, your family, and other drivers from experiencing serious accidents. However, even the safest, most conscientious drivers still face hazards on the road. This is especially true if you encounter a drunk driver, who is capable of causing serious injuries and property damage.
While you cannot always avoid drunk drivers, there are steps you can take to lower your risk of an accident. Here are a few signs to look out for and what you can do when driving alongside a possibly drunk or intoxicated driver.
Signs of an inebriated driver
The first step is to know the signs of drunk driving. While these signs are not always a guarantee a person is driving under the influence, they often point to inebriation when occurring together. For instance, inebriation makes it difficult for many motorists to stay within the lines of their lane. This may lead to weaving, both within their lane and into the lane for oncoming traffic. These effects are caused by problems with hand-eye coordination, which only becomes more pronounced the more intoxicated a driver is.
Drunk drivers also have a slower response time. Be wary around a person who lags when a light changes green, or is seemingly caught by surprise by a red light or stop sign. Sudden stopping, illegal turns, and driving without headlights are also signs of an inebriated driver.
What to do when you suspect inebriation
Never attempt to stop a suspected drunk driver yourself. If possible to do so safely, make note of the person’s vehicle, including make and model. Also, try to get as much of the license plate number as you can. Even a partial number is beneficial to law enforcement.
Stay far behind the vehicle in case it makes any sudden maneuvers. When safe to do so, pull over and call 911. Provide information on the vehicle, the behavior of the driver, and the location where the sighting took place.