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Tips to stay safe when sharing the road with a drunk driver

| Jun 16, 2021 | Car Accidents

People drive dangerously for many reasons. They may be drunk, distracted or have road rage. As another driver on the road, encountering a careless driver can be frightening. However, being able to identify the cause of the poor driving can help you to safely respond and avoid an accident.

Sadly, Texas has one of the highest drunk driving death rates in the country – ranking above the national average in every age group. In today’s post, we examine the indicators of drunk driving, as well as tips to limit your risk of personal injury if you encounter a drunk driver on the road.

Recognizing drunk driving

Drunk drivers exhibit different behavior than those who are distracted or have road rage. Drunk drivers have slow reaction times to changing road conditions, decreased coordination and stunted alertness. A drunk driver may:

  • Drive slowly or at an inconsistent speed – speeding up then slowing down
  • Stop when traffic signals or driving conditions don’t require it
  • Display sloppiness on the road – such as veering in and out of their lane or riding in the shoulder
  • Use turn signals inappropriately
  • Drive without headlights
  • Drive the wrong way on the road
  • Ride on the curb or collide with barricades – and continue driving

Reacting responsibly

Drunk drivers often slow down the flow of traffic – and it can be frustrating to be stuck behind them. However, passing a drunk driver is extremely dangerous – and puts you at a far higher risk of a crash.

Instead, stay well behind the drunk driver and call emergency services as soon as you have a safe opportunity to do so. Be prepared to report:

  • The vehicle color, make and model
  • The license plate number
  • The name of the road and direction of travel of the driver

Knowing how to safely respond to a drunk driver can help you avoid an unnecessary catastrophe on the road.