Brian White | December 12, 2017 | Auto Accidents
Drunk driving is an epidemic plaguing the nation. Every day, an average of 28 people die in crashes involving alcohol-impaired drivers. While we can’t predict run-ins with intoxicated drivers, we can take steps to avoid them on the roads. The best way to prevent collisions with drunk drivers is to learn how to spot them, avoid them, and report them to authorities. Look out for these five signs of drunk drivers when you’re on Texas’ roadways.
Swerving Between Lanes
Consuming alcohol can blur a driver’s vision and make him or her dizzy. This makes it difficult to remain within a single lane. Failure to stay within the proper lane on the road is a telltale sign of an intoxicated driver. Going left of the center of the lane, weaving between traffic, and merging lanes back and forth without signaling are all signs of a drunk driver. Police say that a driver weaving across lanes indicates more than a 50% probability of drunk driving. Avoid drivers who seem unable to stay in their lanes, as they are significant collision hazards. Report a possible drunk driver to the police.
Speeding or Driving Too Slowly
Drivers that cannot maintain a steady, constant speed may be intoxicated. Erratically driving too fast or too slow may signify a driver who cannot keep his or her foot on the pedal steadily. Sudden acceleration and sudden braking are also signs of a drunk driver. Intoxicated drivers may drift in and out of clarity, suddenly braking when traffic stops or for no reason at all. While failure to maintain proper speed alone may not mean a drunk driver, this paired with other signs is suspicious.
Ignoring Traffic Lights
Drunk drivers tend not to obey the rules of the road. They may speed, fail to yield the right of way or drive through stop signs and traffic lights. Intersection accidents are some of the most fatal drunk driving crashes, as they often involve head-on collisions or T-bone collisions at high speeds. Always look both ways before crossing an intersection, even if you have a green light or the right of way. Be especially vigilant at night and on weekends, as statistics show these are when the most drunk-driving accidents happen.
Stopping for No Apparent Reason
Drunk drivers may stop in the middle of the road for no apparent reason. This is a sign that the driver is not completely in his or her right mind. The driver may be drunk, impaired by drugs, or asleep. Either way, stopping in the middle of the road is an unsafe driving practice that can cause a collision. If you notice a driver doing this, especially more than once, report a potential drunk driver.
Failing to Drive Vigilantly
Any broken roadway rule can be a sign of drunk driving, especially when combined with other red flags. A general failure to pay attention to the road and react appropriately to changing circumstances is a major sign of drunk driving. For example, if a driver swerves to avoid striking a stopped vehicle, makes sharp or sudden turns, over-corrects steering, doesn’t put the headlights on at night or enters a road going the wrong way, these are signs that the driver is having vigilance and/or judgment problems, possibly because he or she is drunk behind the wheel.
What to Do If You Suspect Drunk Driving
If you suspect a drunk driver, call 911 and report what you see. You can do this anonymously. Describe the make, model, and color of the vehicle, as well as the license plate number. Give the exact location of the suspected drunk driver, and describe what the vehicle is doing. Do not try to stop or approach the vehicle. Keep a safe distance and wait for the police to arrive. If you are involved in a car accident involving an intoxicated driver, call the Houston DUI attorneys at Brian White & Associates to see how we can help you.