What to Do If A Drunk Driver is Behind You?

What to Do If A Drunk Driver is Behind You?


It is one of the most nerve-wracking things that can happen to a motorist on the road: You’re enjoying a peaceful drive down the highway, simply looking around and observing the other drivers surrounding you, when you notice something a bit odd about one of the vehicles. It may be swerving between lanes or jerking suddenly now and then to keep itself aligned in its lane. When you see something like this, unfortunately, the most likely explanation is that you are sharing the road with a drunk driver. When you see this, you must take certain precautions to keep yourself and your passengers safe. Below are a few tips on how to identify a drunk driver on the road and what to do if you see one.

How to Identify a Drunk Driver

If you suspect that you are sharing the road with a drunk driver, you must be sure of your ability to identify them quickly to reduce any chance of collision with that individual. The following are some of the most common telltale signs that there is an inebriated person behind the wheel:

Swerving. This is the easiest of all signs to identify and one of the first signals that police officers look for when searching for a drunk driver. Depending on just how deeply the driver is affected by being under the influence, this behavior may be fast, slow, or quite dramatic. No matter how confident the driver may be in their ability to operate a vehicle under the influence, alcohol makes it difficult to concentrate or drive in a straight line.

Driving unusually close to the centerline. Some inebriated drivers still retain a certain level of awareness that they realize swerving is a clear sign of a drunk driver. Because of this, they may attempt to compensate for this by hugging the centerline instead. Though they are following a straighter path than they would be when swerving, they still have significantly slowed reflexes, endangering all surrounding vehicles.

Excessive breaking. This is typically coupled with noticeably slow acceleration, again, because the driver is overcompensating for their slowed reaction times and inability to fully control the vehicle. This may seem inconsequential, but even driving below the speed limit poses a hazard to the safety of other vehicles.

What to Do If You See a Drunk Driver on the Road?

If you notice any of the above signs, you must assess the circumstances as safely and quickly as you can: Does the driver pose an immediate threat to your vehicle? If so, pull over as safely as possible to allow them to pass. Give them as much room as possible so that they do not clip you as they pass. 

No matter what, do not attempt to escape the situation by speeding up – that will most likely result in the driver speeding up right along with you and thereby create a more dangerous situation. If you take all the necessary precautions and are still hit by the drunk driver, you need to call an accident attorney as soon as possible. With such legal help, you will receive accurate representation during your case, and stand a greater chance of earning the compensation due for your recovery and repairs.

David Lockhart