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7 Signs a driver may be intoxicated

No matter how often you drive on New York roadways, you likely never feel fully comfortable behind the wheel. That's because you know that there are so many unknown factors involved in determining whether you safely arrive at your travel destination.

Anything from weather to road construction can significantly delay or impede your arrival. On the other hand, if there is a drunk driver or distracted driver in your midst, it might not only cause you delays, it can also cause you serious injury if there is a collision. Knowing how to spot a possible drunk driver on the road may help you avert disaster.

These issues are cause for concern

Unless you were able to administer a blood test to check the alcohol content in a particular driver's bloodstream, you really have no way of knowing for sure if he or she is drunk. The following list, however, includes driving behavior signs that not only suggest driver intoxication but also immediate reason for you to try to distance yourself from the vehicle as safely and swiftly as possible:

  • Drunk drivers have trouble with depth perception. If you notice a driver that is taking bends far too widely, he or she might be drunk.
  • Keeping with current traffic flow patterns is also problematic for most drunk drivers. Is there a driver near you who is erratically applying his or her brakes?
  • Any vehicle that is veering left or right in its lane or is drifting clear out of its lane might have a drunk driver behind the wheel.
  • If you notice a person scrunched to the edge of his or her driver's seat with an apparently tight grip on the steering wheel, that driver may be showing signs of possible intoxication.
  • Not only is tailgating annoying, it is highly dangerous. It also happens to be one of the most common errors drunk drivers make.
  • If you're traveling at night and notice another vehicle on the road that does not have headlights on, remember that this is also a common mistake people make when intoxicated. They might walk out of a bar or restaurant after imbibing and forget to turn on their lights when they exit the parking lot.
  • A drunk driver might keep idling at a traffic light even after it has turned from red to green.

These are just a few of many issues that could alert you to a possible drunk driver. If you're able to safely pull over to call 911 and report suspicious driving behavior, it's always a good idea. Unfortunately, it's not always possible, especially if you're caught in a lot of traffic that is moving at highway speeds.

If a drunk driver hits you

Drunk driving accidents are among the easiest types of collisions to prevent. That's why you might feel frustrated or even angry, if you suffer injury in a collision and later learn that an intoxicated person was driving the vehicle.

Many drunk driving collisions are fatal. Surviving an accident like this might mean that you will spend time in the hospital, perhaps need surgery or after-care physical therapy, and will likely have to take time off work during recovery.

You may have close friends and family members to rely on if you need daily living assistance. You may also need additional support as well, such as in-home nursing care. Such care is expensive, which is why many recovering accident victims in New York and elsewhere file personal injury claims against drunk drivers to request compensation for damages.

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