In the United States, it is illegal to drive a vehicle if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 percent or higher. This is largely because drivers who are impaired by the effects of alcohol experience blurred or double vision, slower reflexes and reaction times, poor judgment, and even a loss of consciousness behind the wheel.
Studies show that in a single recent year, drunk drivers were responsible for causing 10,497 deaths in auto accidents. In California alone, drunk drivers caused 1,059 deaths. It is a staggering number, but about one in three traffic deaths in the United States involves a drunk driver. Every day, 29 people in the United States die in an accident involving a drunk driver.
Drunk driving accidents leave families broken and cause billions of dollars in losses every year. The worst part is that all of these accidents could have been prevented had the drunk driver chosen to use better judgment and not gotten behind the wheel while they were impaired.
It is important to stay safe on the road and learn how to identify signs that another driver is drunk. Being able to spot, avoid, and report a drunk driver just might save your life and the lives of others on the road.
Below are some helpful tips for identifying the signs of intoxicated driving and how to avoid being involved in an accident with someone who is drunk on the road.
How to Spot a Drunk Driver
There are several signs that you can look out for that may indicate that a driver is drunk. Those signs include the following:
- Swerving or weaving between lanes. When a driver is impaired by the effects of alcohol, their vision may be blurred. Consistent swerving between lanes is a big indicator that a driver is drunk.
- Driving too fast or too slowly. Rapid acceleration or deceleration along with driving too far over or under the speed limit is another sign that a driver may be impaired by alcohol.
- Reckless driving. If a driver is disobeying traffic signals and driving dangerously, they may be driving drunk.
- Sudden movements or braking. If a driver is braking suddenly or making very rapid movements, it may be because their reaction time and reflexes have been impaired by alcohol.
- Nearly hitting other cars or objects on the road. Because a driver’s reflexes are impaired, and their vision may be blurred due to the effects of alcohol, drunk drivers may have a hard time driving straight, and they will often almost hit other people or things on the road.
- Slower reflexes when responding to traffic signals. Because of slowed reflexes, drunk drivers will not respond to stimuli like a changing traffic light or car changing lanes as fast as a non-impaired driver. This is an important sign in recognizing drunk driving.
If you notice a driver on the road showing any of these signs, it is important to recognize that they might be driving under the influence of alcohol. Because of their impaired state, it is highly likely that their slowed reflexes or reckless driving will cause accidents that can result in injuries or even death for other drivers or pedestrians on the road.
Reporting and Avoiding Drunk Drivers
When you notice the telltale signs that a driver on the road may be drunk, it is important that you take action quickly. A drunk driver is a danger to everyone on the road, and it is important to avoid them and take steps to notify the authorities.
First, stay as far away from the car as possible and pull over to a safe place on the side of the road. Avoid braking suddenly or swerving away from them, as this may be dangerous to other drivers. Brake carefully and pull over when it is safe to do so. Your safety is the first concern.
Second, call 911 for help. If possible, identify the license plate number, color, make, or model of the car to make it easier for law enforcement officers to find and apprehend the driver. Taking the initiative to report the reckless drunk driver could help ensure that other drivers are not harmed. The faster the driver is identified, the less likely they will be able to cause a death on the road. Call law enforcement immediately and lower the statistics for drunk driving related deaths on roads. Police are trained to handle erratic and impaired drivers safely and effectively.
Encountering a drunk driver on the road can be a terrifying experience, but if you stay calm and follow the steps outlined here, you will be able to make sure that you and other motorists do not fall victim to a tragic accident.
Injured by a Drunk Driver? We’re Here to Help
The Sacramento drunk driving accident lawyers at Demas Law Group are highly experienced personal injury lawyers who have dedicated their careers to helping clients for more than two decades. We pride ourselves on providing quality representation to our clients. We can pursue the compensation and justice you deserve if you or a loved one has been injured by a drunk driver.
The legal team at Demas Law Group knows the devastation that an accident with a drunk driver can have on your life. You should not have to worry about the legal complexities of a drunk driving accident claim while you are trying to recover from the horrific accident. Let us focus on seeking fair compensation for you while you focus on getting your life back on track.
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured by a drunk driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Call or contact Demas Law Group online for a free consultation.