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What to Do If You Spot a Drunk Driver on the Road

Posted on in Car Accidents

Wisonsin personal injury attorney, Wisonsin car crash lawyer, Milwaukee truck accident attorneyWhile there are many dangers present on the road, one of the biggest is the presence of drunk drivers. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that over 10,000 people were killed by drunk drivers in 2012, which makes them responsible for almost one in every three traffic fatalities. While other drivers cannot keep people from drinking and driving, they can keep themselves safer. It is important for everyone on the road to know how to identify a drunk driver, as well as what to do when they encounter one to avoid a traffic accident.

Identifying a Drunk Driver

Identifying a drunk driver is largely a matter of spotting erratic driving, especially when it occurs late at night. However, there are certain poor driving behaviors that drunk drivers are more likely to engage in as a result of alcohol's specific effects on the body. One of the most common of these sorts of behaviors is making turns that are overly wide. Alcohol affects people's ability to properly judge distances, so they may end up taking up more space when they turn. Similarly, this inability to judge distances, combined with poor reaction time, may result in a drunk driver braking erratically.

Another common set of driving behaviors that drunk drivers exhibit is the use of extra caution. Many drunk drivers know that they are in no condition to drive, and end up endangering people by trying to be careful. For instance, many drunk drivers drive well below the speed limit to keep control of the car, but moving so much slower than traffic can also be a danger. Similarly, drunk drivers often hug the center line or the lane divider out of a fear of swerving between lanes.

Safety Tips

If someone does see a drunk driver on the road, it is important for them to know what to do and what not to do. The first thing to do is to give the drunk driver as much space as possible. People drive unpredictably while under the influence of alcohol, so more space means more time to react. Similarly, attempting to pass a drunk driver can be dangerous. While it may be tempting to try to put the drunk driver in the rear-view mirror, passing can trigger a collision.

While driving behind a drunk driver, people should take care to get as much identifying information about the vehicle as possible. Then, they can pull over safely and alert the police. People should let the police handle the driver, rather than trying to initiate a confrontation themselves.

Drunk drivers are a danger to themselves and others and they can cause serious accidents. If you have recently been injured in a traffic accident with a drunk driver, contact an experienced Milwaukee personal injury attorney today.
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