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Could you recognize a drunk driver in your vicinity?

On Behalf of | Nov 23, 2020 | Car Accidents, Injuries |

When you get behind the wheel of a car to drive in Texas or any other state, you understand that you are obligated to adhere to the traffic laws of the state in which you’re traveling. In this state, you cannot legally operate a motor vehicle if you’re blood alcohol content level is .08 or higher if you are an adult—age 21 or older.

While you might be a conscientious person who abstains from alcohol if you’re planning on driving, there’s no way for you to know if the drivers with whom you’re sharing the road have also made responsible choices. A brief review of Texas crash statistics would show you that there have been many drunk drivers in this state.

You can’t predict what another driver might do, and you’re certainly not responsible for another person’s actions. However, there are numerous behaviors that intoxicated drivers often exhibit on the road, and learning to recognize these signs might help you avoid disaster.

Police often suspect drunk driving when they witness certain things

If you’re driving along an unfamiliar, windy road and your tires veer over toward the yellow line or cross it, you might wind up getting pulled over in a traffic stop and asked to exit your vehicle. This is because police often suspect driver intoxication when they witness tires touching or crossing the yellow line. The following list shows other possible signs of drunk driving:

  • Driving at night without use of headlights
  • Taking turns far too widely or so closely that a driver clips a curb
  • Driving too slowly or too fast for the existing traffic pattern
  • A driver who is sitting at the edge of his or her seat with a tight grip on the steering wheel
  • Failing to go when a light is green
  • Weaving left to right inside a lane or veering out of a lane
  • Using the wrong turn signal

It’s understandable that you’d be worried and feel stressed if you’re traveling on a Texas roadway and notice this type of erratic driving behavior in another vehicle. What should you do? The answer depends on the situation. If you can safely distance yourself from the driver in question, it’s definitely a good idea to do so. Many people pull off the road and call 911 to report the driver by providing a license plate number and description of the vehicle. However, it’s not always possible to do that.

In fact, it’s not always possible to react swiftly and safely enough to avoid a collision. If you suddenly see headlights coming head-on in your direction, for instance, you might have little to no time to think, much less avert disaster.

If a drunk driver causes you injury

Even minor injuries can cause significant distress in your life. If a person irresponsibly gets behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol, and you suffer injuries, you shouldn’t have to bear the full financial burden associated with the collision. Surviving a collision doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be fine and back to your normal routine in no time.

Severe or life-threatening injuries may mean you have to take weeks, if not months, off from work to recover. In fact, serious injuries often have permanent consequences that prevent those affected from ever returning to the workplace. Drunk driving collisions often lead to criminal charges and also litigation in civil court if a recovering victim files a personal injury claim to seek compensation for damages.