What is the best way to stay out of an accident? Avoid dangerous situations. A drunk driver is a huge road hazard. Too many drunk drivers injure other people by causing a car accident. Lawyers have seen the devastating results of drunk driving. All drivers can protect themselves by knowing how to spot alcohol impaired drivers so that they can be avoided.
According to the NHTSA, in 2009 Colorado had a total of 465 auto accident fatalities; 158 of those accidents involved at least one driver with a BAC of at least 0.08%. That means 34% of all traffic fatalities are due to alcohol impairment. Individuals involved in accidents who do survive may sustain a serious injury. Attorneys know that when practicing law they must be able to anticipate their opposing counsel’s next move in order to successfully try a case. The same can be said of driving: Motorists should know how to identify and avoid a dangerous driver by recognizing the signs of impairment. What should you be aware of in order to avoid drunk drivers?
An NHTSA study divided the indicators of a drunk driver into four categories:
1) Problems in maintaining proper lane position
2) Speed and braking problems
3) Vigilance problems
A driver swerving in and out of their lane is a common sight. In some cases the swerving may be due to a dropped phone or spilled cup of coffee, and hopefully no harm comes of it. But a driver who consistently drifts out of his lane, or swerves from one lane to the next is likely drunk, and best avoided. Impaired drivers may start to drift out of their lane position and then quickly try to swerve back into position.
Another tell-tale sign of impairment is sudden braking. The driver may seem to be over-compensating: what would cause a sober driver to merely slow down a bit makes these drivers slam on the brakes, sometimes coming to a near complete stop on a high speed road. Drunk drivers may also drive far too slowly for the posted speed limit, normal flow of traffic, and weather conditions. And some drive far too fast with all thoughts of safety lost in a fog of alcohol.
A driver with vigilance problems due to alcohol impairment may forget to turn on the headlights at night. They may leave their turn signals on or may turn without using their turn signals at all. They may go the wrong way on streets, and may not leave enough space or time for maneuvering their car at a left turn or across traffic.
Impaired drivers often show judgment problems. They cannot properly negotiate lane changes. They cannot judge the proper speed for making a turn, often going too fast to make it around a corner successfully. Their impairment may cause them to tailgate the cars ahead of them. If the car in front stops, the drunk driver cannot stop in time to avoid a car accident.
Lawyers who handle car accident cases know a collision involving a drunk driver has the potential to cause a very bad injury. Attorney involvement can bring about a quicker resolution of a case. But the best option is to avoid the problem entirely.