It’s an unfortunate but true reality of life as a driver these days: Many people still make the unsafe and unwise decision to drive while intoxicated, and these bad decisions are the cause of hundreds of thousands of accidents, injuries and deaths in the US every year. This is despite increasing awareness toward drunk driving and the rise of ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft, which should ostensibly make driving drunk even less common than it used to be.

At the offices of John D. Halepaska, our attorneys can help if you’ve been the victim of a car accident injury potentially caused by a drunk driver. Of course, we’d rather you never end up in this situation at all – with that in mind, here are a few of the common signs that might signal you’re sharing the road with someone who is intoxicated, plus what to do if you spot these red flags or.

Signs of a Drunk Driver

The most obvious sign of someone driving drunk? You physically seeing them drink alcohol either before or while driving. You’d be surprised how often this simple kind of evidence is available, though obviously it’s not always readily apparent.

Luckily, there are numerous other telltale signs of drunk driving that you can look out for, particularly when driving at night. Here are some areas to consider:

  • Acceleration and deceleration: The suspected drunk driver may accelerate or decelerate quickly and with little reason. This may result in them tailgating you or another car.

  • Weaving: The driver may weave across lanes of traffic without any regard, or may drive on the shoulder of the road or the wrong side altogether.

  • Braking: The driver will randomly or erratically brake in unsafe ways.

  • Signals: The driver regularly fails to signal for basic traffic areas, and/or struggles with interpreting traffic signals on the road.

  • Lights: At nighttime, many drunk drivers will forget to turn their headlights or taillights on.

  • Speed limit: The driver is either dangerously exceeding the speed limit or going dangerously below the speed limit (more than 10 mph below in most cases).

  • Illegal moves: The driver is making illegal, abrupt or dangerous turns or other driving moves.

Are each of these signs individually a guarantee that the driver in question is drunk? No, but you’re best avoiding anyone driving in this manner regardless.

How to Proceed

So what do you do if you see someone driving with any of the behaviors listed above? A few tips:

  • Stay clear: Do not approach the vehicle or attempt to pass it for any reason. Stay behind it and away from any area where it could cause an accident you’re involved in.

  • Information: If you’re able to do so safely, get some basic information of the reckless driver’s vehicle, including make and model, license plate number, their current location, and the direction they’re headed in.

  • Police: Once you’ve noted their information, pull over and call 911 to give police the information you’ve collected.

If You’re Injured

If you’re in an accident caused by a driver who may have been intoxicated, you could be due compensation. After speaking with law enforcement and following proper directions, contact an auto accident injury attorney from the offices of John D. Halepaska to find out how we can help.

To learn more about this or any of our other personal injury services, contact us today.