A drunk driver can wreak havoc all over the road. Unfortunately, even responsible, conscientious motorists may cross their paths from time to time, which puts you in harm’s way.
In addition to always operating your vehicle responsibly, you should also know how to deal with a drunk driver should you encounter one on the road. Here are a few important steps to take to keep yourself and others safe.
Know the signs of drunk driving
Driving while intoxicated causes a wide range of physical and mental effects. As a result, a person’s ability to operate a vehicle safely is often altered. Looking for obvious traffic violations, such as failing to stop for red lights or stop signs. Drunk motorists can also forget to use their turn signals, or drive much faster and slower than the speed limit. Other signs include weaving in and out of traffic, driving without headlights at night, and sudden braking.
Do not attempt to pass the vehicle
Upon recognizing the above signs, your first impulse might be to speed up, so you can pass the vehicle. Keep in mind that drunk drivers are typically erratic, which may lead to a collision as you pass by. Instead, reduce your speed and remain a safe distance behind the vehicle. You should remain far enough behind that you can react in time if the driver makes an unexpected maneuver.
Make note of the vehicle characteristics
While you are driving behind the vehicle, try to safely take note of its characteristics. Vehicle color, the make and model, and the license plate can all be very helpful to law enforcement. However, do not do anything that might jeopardize your safety or the safety of others. Once it is safe to do so, pull over and park in an authorized area. You can also pull into a business and park in their lot.
Call the police and provide the information you collected while driving behind the vehicle. If you do not have specific information, provide the last intersection where you saw it to help law enforcement pinpoint the location.