Intoxication is a significant cause of motor vehicle crashes on the roads every year. Vehicle collisions not only result in life altering injuries, but can also result in death. Motor vehicle crashes are often preventable. The first step to safeguard yourself from accidents is to remain aware of your surroundings when driving.
You can often tell whether another driver has consumed alcohol by his or her behavior on the road. While you may be able to obtain damages for life-threatening accidents, it is better to avoid dangerous accidents in the first place.
Accidents caused by driving under the influence (DUI) contribute to a significant number of deaths each year across the globe. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 10,142 deaths resulted from drunk driving in the United States in 2019. These fatalities are preventable and require community vigilance to prevent.
Thus, it is important to learn how to respond correctly when you encounter a driver who is operating their vehicle under the influence of alcohol or other substances. The information here provides practical steps to take when discovering a drunk driver.
For more detailed information, you can contact an accident lawyer to discuss your concerns. The sooner you connect with a legal professional, the better the outcome is likely to be. An attorney can investigate the case, talk to concerned people, gather relevant documents, and represent the claim in front of the court.
Spotting a drunk driver on the road
Anticipating a driver’s mental capacity on the road might be a challenging affair, but if the situation presents itself, it is crucial that you do something to protect the health and well-being of yourself, others on the road, and even the inebriated driver.
Assessing a drunk driver’s condition can help save others from a fatal accident. Holidays, weekends, and late evenings are the three most common times for drivers to operate under the influence. Watch for drivers who exhibit the following signs:
- Erratic driving, like swerving, tailgating, and weaving across lanes
- Sudden braking
- Quick acceleration
- Delayed response to traffic signals
- Driving into the opposite traffic
- Drifting in and out of traffic lanes
- Driving without the headlights on when it is dark outside
Do not, however, risk your life to assess the situation. To ensure safety, always put as much space as possible between you and the drunk driver to avoid or reduce the chance of an accident occurring. Take note of the color, make, model, and license plate of the car so that you are able to report the situation to the police.
Every year a substantial number of people suffer fatal injuries and damages due to road rashes. You will be shocked to see the numbers and Facts About Road Rash. So, it is essential to take necessary precautions to avoid road rashes and other injuries caused by drunk drivers.
Protecting yourself from drunk driving accidents
Maintaining safety on the road is the main goal. Thus, if you suspect there is a drunk driver on the road with you, ensure that you perform these defensive tactics to avoid accidents:
- Buckle your seatbelt for added security and protection on the road
- Maintain a safe and generous distance from the driver you think is intoxicated
- Use additional caution at intersections
- Avoid late night driving, especially during the holidays
- Participate in police check points
Steps to take after a drunk driving accident
Even if you are not responsible for an accident, a responsible citizen who witnesses an accident caused by a drunk driver should assess the situation, document the information to the police, and discuss what you witnessed with the authorities. Some of the steps below may be necessary to accurately document what happened.
A car accident can have a long-term impact on a victim’s physical and psychological well being. People who are injured in accidents may be forced out of work while medical bills continue to mount. That is why it is so important to provide any information to the authorities if you witnessed the accident.
- Documenting evidence
Most people have a smartphone equipped with a camera nowadays. This is a perfect opportunity for you to utilize it for something helpful. Whenever possible, document visual and audio evidence.
- Report it to the authorities
You should alert law enforcement if you have witnessed an accident that resulted in injury or property damage. You can either call the police on the phone or remain at the scene until they arrive.
Explain what you observed that made you conclude that the driver was under the influence of alcohol or other substances. Additionally, it is imperative to ensure that you obtain the report from the cops at the scene.
What to do when a drunk driver hits you?
Vehicle crashes are not uncommon these days. If you are the victim of a drunk driving accident, you can perform some steps to help your situation. Accidents caused by drunk driving can be extremely frightening because any outcome is possible.
Remain calm and let the dispatcher know what has happened, your location, and a description of the vehicles involved in the accident. Wait until the police arrive and get your vehicle out of the line of traffic by safely pulling to the side of the road. Document any evidence in your favor and do not engage in any disputes or arguments with an intoxicated driver.
You are not obligated to communicate with an intoxicated driver. If you do, document your interaction if you can. Once the cops arrive at the scene, provide them with any information you have about what happened. Make sure to capture the intoxicated driver’s insurance information as well as a copy of the police report.
Reporting drunk driving is of paramount importance, especially to prevent fatal accidents. Through community education and action, the death numbers from intoxicated driving can be significantly reduced.
If you are someone you know has been injured in a drunk driving accident, you can consult a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer to get assistance. These attorneys have extensive experience to recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.