Drunk driving is one of the leading causes of death for people under the age of 35. It claims thousands of lives each year, and is a serious problem that requires ongoing discussion in order to hopefully reduce the number of lives lost due to such preventable accidents. Other than raising awareness around drunk driving, there are steps that you can take as a driver to be as safe as possible when you encounter someone on the road driving under the influence. This article will give you tips on how to spot a drunk driver, and what you can do to stay safe on the road if you ever come across one.

The Signs of Drunk Driving

First, it is important to know and understand the signs of a drunk driver, they include, but are not limited to:

  • Veering, swerving, and weaving in and out of lanes
  • Rapid acceleration or rapid deceleration
  • Sudden lane changes and/or erratic driving behaviors
  • Absence of turn signals when changing lanes or turning
  • Driving without headlights on when it is dark and/or low visibility conditions

Additionally, some of the signs that someone might be too impaired to drive include, but are not limited to:

  • Slurred speech or incoherent sentences/words
  • Bloodshot or watery eyes
  • The odor of alcohol on their breath
  • Difficulty walking, sitting, or standing upright
  • Overly loud voice
  • Impaired motor skills

Be on Defense When It Comes to Drunk Drivers

If you are a sober driver, you can always play it safe and practice safe defensive driving habits to avoid drunk driving accidents. For example, avoid driving at night if possible. Most drunk driving accidents occur in the hours of the night after people have been out drinking. If you notice a car behaving strangely or displaying any of the behaviors listed above, increase your following distance. This gives you more time to react in the case that the drunk driver were to randomly break, swerve, or act on any other intoxicated impulse. Always be prepared to take action, especially if you think you may be in danger due to a drunk driver. This means you should be prepared to honk, break, etc.

Additionally, if you suspect you have spotted a drunk driver on the road, it’s never a bad idea to call the police and report their car. You can tell the police you believe the driver is impaired and give them the details regarding the car and your location, and the police will take it from there.

Be as aware as possible of your surroundings when driving. Pay attention to the behaviors of other cars on the road, you may be able to spot a drunk driver, and potentially save a few lives.

Avoid Driving During High Risk Times

Certain times of the day and of the year, drunk drivers are more likely to be out and about. Avoid the road if possible during these times:

  • After major sporting events
  • After and during holidays and holiday events
  • Late nights, especially on the weekends
  • After concerts
  • After bar hopping

There are many ways that you can defensively drive in order to avoid drunk drivers and unnecessary car accidents due to drunk drivers. It’s very important that you are able to recognize the signs of a drunk driver, and take the necessary steps to avoid them. By using the tips in this article, you are off to a good start.