Have you ever seen another driver make a careless mistake and wondered if they were drunk? Drunk driving remains a prominent issue throughout the United States, which makes knowing how to spot an inebriated driver an essential skill when you’re behind the wheel. Here are a few useful tips to help you pick out this present danger.
Weaving or Zigzagging
Different areas call it by different names, but any driver who cannot follow a straight line is more than likely drunk. This is the top indicator for law enforcement, and it should be for you too. Weaving or zigzagging is caused when excessive drinking leads to dizziness, blurred vision, and fatigue.
Any DUI defense attorney will tell you that this action comes in many forms. Drivers might consistently run into rumble strips, make unsafe lane changes, or drift in and out of their lane. Any of these actions indicate intoxication. The best way to stay safe around a weaving driver is to give yourself plenty of distance between your car and theirs. You should also avoid driving alongside the vehicle in question.
Speeding or Racing
Everyone knows that alcohol impairs judgement, which often leads drivers to misjudge their speed or think it’s a great idea to race another car. Aggressive behavior, like tailgating, is another sign of drunk driving. It’s best to avoid a driver doing these actions to the best of your ability. For tailgating, turn off the road you’re on as soon as possible and let them pass.
On the flipside, drivers may overcompensate for their drunkenness by driving too slowly. This is another example of poor judgement, with the driver thinking they can avoid suspicion by not speeding. However, driving excessively slowly is another surefire sign of impairment according to AICA Orthopedics.
In high-traffic areas, slow speeds can be more dangerous than speeding. Thankfully, you’ll rarely need a vehicle accident injury lawyer in this instance since you can easily maneuver around the drunk driver. Remember, avoiding a drunk driver is the best way to stay safe.
When fatigue strikes a drunken driver, they often find themselves fighting to stay awake behind the wheel. This can lead to them slamming on the brake at random times, trying not to crash as they regain consciousness for a moment.
Fatigued drunk drivers might do the same with the gas pedal, stay stopped when a light turns green, or treat a stop sign like a red light. Sitting at a light or stop sign isn’t quite as dangerous as randomly stopping or accelerating, which make it difficult for other drivers to avoid the vehicle.
Breaking the Rules
It isn’t uncommon for sober drivers to break the rules of the road, but drunk drivers tend to break multiple at once. Not using their headlights or turn signals, making illegal turns, and heading the wrong way down one-way streets are all signs of possible impaired driving. Thankfully, these are the easiest mistakes to spot.
Time of Night
While not everyone driving late at night is drunk, the number of impaired drivers increases after the bars close. While every area has different rules on closing times, most drunk driving accidents happen between midnight and three in the morning around the country. Accidents also increase on weekends, specifically Saturdays.