Keeping yourself and your family safe on the road is about more than just understanding how to drive safely while obeying the law. It is also about being able to identify and avoid hazards, from debris loose on the roadway to animals and even other drivers. That's why it is important to know how to spot driving behaviors that could put you at risk. Those include both the behaviors you commonly see from aggressive drivers during "road rage" incidents, as well as moves that are simply risky on their own or that signal a driver may be intoxicated.
Being able to predict when another driver is under the influence is arguably the most important of those skills, if only because intoxicated drivers are less predictable than other kinds of dangerous drivers. It's also true that many of the traits that point to a drunk driver overlap with other kinds of dangerous driving.
Common driving behaviors for drunk drivers
According to the resource pages at the Mothers Against Drunk Driving site, the following behaviors are often signs of a drunk driver. Keep in mind, though, that they are not exclusively drunk driving signs. The more of these behaviors a driver exhibits, the more likely important it is to keep yourself safe.
- Weaving or zigzagging.
- Driving anywhere other than the standard traffic lanes.
- Signaling that is inconsistent with driving behavior.
- Sudden acceleration and deceleration.
- Driving with the headlights off at night.
There are a number of other indicators listed on the MADD page, but these are the most prominent signs of a drunk driver.
What to do if you spot a dangerous, possibly drunk driver
Someone dies because of a drunk driver approximately once every two minutes in this country, and somewhere between 50 and 75 percent of the drivers who lose their license due to a DUI continue driving. That's why it is so important to learn to spot these drivers and to avoid them. If you are behind a drunk driver, stay there, and let yourself go slowly to put distance between you. If the driver's behavior is very erratic, it could be a good idea to call 911 to report it. Most important, though, is keeping yourself safe. Do not try to pursue.
If you are in an accident caused by someone else's drinking and driving, you likely have a claim for damages that would help pay for your repairs and medical expenses. Talk to an experienced personal injury attorney today to learn more about your options.