September is National Preparedness Month, which was designed to help people prepare for disasters in order to protect them. With Labor Day weekend falling on the first weekend of September, it is a perfect time to prepare for an increase in drunk drivers on the road, as people take advantage of the long weekend by celebrating with family and friends. While one would hope that people wouldn’t get behind the wheel after drinking, the United States Department of Transportation statistics tell a different story. In fact, in 2019, one person died because of a drunk driving accident every 52 minutes.
Knowing how to spot a drunk driver, how to keep yourself safe if you suspect a driver is intoxicated, and what to do if an intoxicated person hits you are valuable ways to be prepared. If you have been involved in an accident where the other driver may have been intoxicated, reach out to a dedicated attorney immediately to learn about your options for legal recourse.
How to Spot a Drunk Driver
The first line of defense to protect yourself and your loved ones is knowing how to spot a drunk driver. While the signs that a driver may be intoxicated may vary from person to person, there are still some red flags that may warn you that the other driver may be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. These include:
- Driving 10 mph less than the posted speed limit
- Driving without headlights at night
- Weaving across the road, swerving, drifting in and out of the traffic lane, driving on the wrong side of the road
- Nearly hitting a curb, object, guardrail, or another vehicle
- Inconsistent signaling
- Accelerating or decelerating quickly
- Making illegal or abrupt turns
- Responding slowly to traffic signals (e.g. a delayed start at a stop light)
- Driving in an area off-limits to vehicles
What to Do if You See a Drunk Driver on the Road
Ideally, you will be able to spot a drunk driver before disaster strikes. If you suspect another driver is intoxicated behind the wheel, there are a few steps you can take to keep yourself and others safe.
- Give the other vehicle plenty of space, even if that means safely pulling over. Never try to pass the other vehicle because this may increase the likelihood of a collision.
- If it is possible and safe to do so, get the other vehicle’s license plate number, as well as its make, model, and color.
- Call 911. Wait until you are in a safe location or making a hands-free call, and then give the police the vehicle’s location by giving details such as the road name, cross streets, highway mile marker, and the direction the vehicle was traveling.
What to Do if a Drunk Driver Hits Your Car
While no one expects to be hit by a drunk driver, it can happen. The driver will face criminal charges, but you will also want to file a claim so that you will be compensated for the damages that you are entitled to receive. While cases may vary, the following steps should be taken after the accident occurs.
- Contact the police so they can file a police report.
- Receive medical help if you think you may have suffered an injury.
- Take photos of your vehicle and your injuries.
- If there were witnesses, gather their contact information.
- Retain a qualified personal injury attorney, such as the attorneys at Debbie Taussig Law.
Important Next Steps
If you were hit by a drunk driver, call Debbie Taussig Law at 303-442-0176. We will evaluate your personal injury claim for free. We will help you get fair compensation for your medical treatments, lost earnings, and out-of-pocket expenses. In addition, you may be entitled to non-economic compensation, such as compensation for pain, grief, depression, anxiety, and lifestyle changes. Let Debbie Taussig Law take on your burden so you can heal.