Drunk driving is a constant battle for law enforcement. The Texas Department of Transportation reported in 2020 drunk driving accidents resulted in the deaths of 963 people.
Stopping these accidents is a priority but difficult to do. As a driver on the roadways, you can protect yourself by being vigilant and watching for signs that another driver is under the influence.
One of the most noticeable signs of a drunk driver is erratic speed fluctuations. They may alternate between driving too fast and too slow and appear unable to maintain a consistent speed.
Weaving or swerving
These drivers may weave or swerve from side to side, sometimes crossing over lane markings. They will appear to be unable to keep their vehicle moving consistently.
Tailgating the vehicle in front is another indication of impaired driving. A person driving under the influence of alcohol might not have the ability to make sound judgments in order to keep a safe distance behind the car ahead.
Pay attention to the absence of proper signaling when making turns or switching lanes. Intoxicated individuals may neglect to use their turn signals or use them incorrectly.
Impaired reflexes can result in a delayed response to traffic signals or sudden changes in road conditions. If you notice a driver reacting slowly, it could be a red flag.
Straddling the center line
Inebriated drivers frequently exhibit the behavior of straddling the center line or veering into oncoming traffic lanes. This constitutes a hazardous conduct that escalates the likelihood of head-on collisions, posing a severe risk to all road users.
Overly wide turns
Impaired drivers may execute excessively wide turns or sharply cut corners. Such actions can be indicative of impaired coordination and impaired judgment.
Pay attention to the brake lights of the vehicle in question. A drunk driver may brake erratically or suddenly without apparent cause. They also may brake frequently.
If you suspect that you have encountered a drunk driver on the road, it is essential to prioritize safety. Maintain a safe following distance and avoid overtaking the suspected drunk driver. Avoid any confrontation or gestures that may escalate the situation. Contact the police and provide them with the vehicle’s description, license plate number, location and direction of travel.