According to The Center for Disease Control, it’s a known fact that someone dies as a result of alcohol-impaired driving every 48 minutes in the United States. The CDC also states that almost one-third of all vehicle accidents are caused as a result of impaired driving.
These facts are extremely bothersome, to say the least. You need to know that one of the most dangerous obstacles that you can face while driving, or even as a pedestrian, is being hit by a drunk driver. Chances are high that you will often pass an intoxicated driver without even knowing it and in all honesty, it’s only a matter of time before a drunk driver puts your life in jeopardy because of their intoxication and poor driving decisions.
Signs of Drunk Driving Commonly Include:
Turning too wide, looking drunk, almost hitting an object or other vehicle, weaving or zigzagging across the road, driving on other than a designated roadway, turning suddenly or illegally, swerving or abruptly turning can all be common signs of a drunk driver. I know you might be wondering what are the DUI consequences? Stated simply, it causes terrible accidents and deaths, as stated above. More so, other signs of drunk driving can include driving too slowly, driving in the center of the road, stopping inappropriately, erratic braking, driving on the wrong side of the road, signaling that is inconsistent with driving actions, drifting or moving in a straight line at a slight angle to the roadway, and/or slowly reacting to traffic signals.
Tips From Experts That Will Keep You Safe From Drunk Drivers
As a driver, it’s important that you constantly defend yourself against the uncontrolled driving of drunk individuals who are intoxicated by alcohol or drugs. Choosing not to drive a car when you’re intoxicated is the first and most important defense against being involved in an accident that is caused by impaired driving.
Although most of these accidents caused by DUI are the fault of a drunk driver, they can of course still affect a driver who isn’t drunk, as well. Here are a few tips from experts so that can help protect yourself and your passengers from drunk drivers:
Avoid Driving During Popular Drinking Holidays/Days of the Week
In all honesty, there are times of the year when drunk drivers are more likely to be on the road. These times include holidays like New Year’s Eve, St. Patrick Day, Thanksgiving, Super Bowl Sunday, 4th of July, and Labor Day. Even more, during the Christmas holidays, drivers are more prone to accidents. Weekends are also worse than weekdays. If you go out often on the weekends – go and come back early as to avoid driving at night time when the chance of drunk drivers is higher.
Maintain a Generous Following Distance
Keeping a distance of several car lengths will help you notice an unpredictable drunk driver even before the driver drives directly in your route. If you notice a car slowing, swerving, and speeding up repeatedly, or a driver acting strangely, keep your vehicle as far as possible from the [potentially drunk] driver — and turn off your cruise control if it happens to be on. More so, you can call local law enforcement so they can pull over an impaired driver, and in turn, remove them from the roadway, if he or she is truly driving under the influence.
Avoid Rural Highways
This might surprise you, but a large percentage of car accidents occur on rural and two-lane highways – and these are often found in the country. Roads in rural areas are not usually as well-maintained, and they tend to have lots of curves and bumps. More so, rural areas are a popular travel destination for wildlife. These roads can be dangerous for sober drivers and even more so dangerous to drunk drivers. Always try to drive on safer roads whenever possible, especially after dark.
Finally, be vigilant of police check-points. Local law enforcement agencies often set up check-points late at night on roadways in an attempt to catch impaired drivers. Always try to be respectful to the officers in check-points – they save lives. One thing that can make these check-points not too useful though is if people share their location. Don’t tell your friends or family members where you encountered a check-point, at least not until several hours later. By sharing your location, you can warn drunk drivers about a check-point location, and in turn, this renders an officer’s efforts unfruitful.
Intoxicated and impaired drivers are a very real danger to drivers and passengers on literally any roadway in the country. Accidents that involve drunk drivers are not limited to one particular area or one type of roadway – they can happen on any road at any time. Always remember to wear your seatbelt, be aware, and volunteer to be a designated driver when you can to help friends and family stay safe whenever possible, too!