Drunk drivers are responsible for a significant amount of injuries and fatalities each year. To stay safe, it is important to know how to recognize a drunk driver and what to do next in order to prevent a car accident from occurring.
This driving behavior is one of the easiest to spot. Driving in a straight line is simple when you are sober, but alcohol impacts a person’s ability to concentrate and focus on the road in front of them.
Intoxicated drivers will typically overcompensate by braking early and more frequently or driving too slower than the speed limit. Slow acceleration and driving cause a hazard to others on the road who don’t expect someone to drive so conservatively, especially if on a freeway.
To avoid swerving, drunk drivers will often overcompensate by driving too closely to the centerline.
To hide the fact that they are impaired, drunk drivers will sometimes persistently follow the vehicle in front of them. When there is an empty passing lane and another car is constantly too close to your bumper, even when you slow down or speed up, it may be a sign that the driver is intoxicated.
When a driver is severely impaired, they will unlikely follow even the most basic traffic laws. This includes things like failing to turn on headlights, using signals to turn, driving the wrong way in traffic, stopping at an intersection when they have the right of way, blowing through a red light, etc.
When you see what you think is a drunk driver, here’s what to do next: