Remember when Sundays were known for going to church and taking leisurely family drives along scenic Kentucky roads? Perhaps you're too young to recall those days, but you get the idea. Now, it often feels more like your life is at stake just getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. The days of lower speed limits and cautious, courteous drivers seem obsolete. Nowadays there are often menaces on the road who disregard traffic regulations or pay more attention to texting than driving.
To be fair, it's not all bad. There are still plenty of good drivers who do their best to keep themselves and all others who share the road as safe as possible. The problem is, no matter how careful you are, you can't change the driving habits of another person. If, for instance, someone chooses to consume copious amounts of alcohol then operate a motor vehicle, you could be in grave danger by the presence of a possibly intoxicated motorist.
Keep alert for these warning signs
Sometimes, the fact that you're paying close attention to your surroundings may be enough to prevent disaster. If you notice a nearby motorist doing any of the following, it's a signal that a drunk driver might be in your midst:
- No headlights on when needed: People who wander out of bars and restaurants in the dark after having too much alcohol to legally drive often forget to turn their headlights on when they exit a parking lot. If it's after dusk and a car is not using headlights, it might be a sign of trouble.
- Drifting right then left: Drunk drivers tend to weave from side to side in their lanes.
- Tailgating: These drivers also tend to follow the vehicle in front of them way too closely.
- Brake, brake, brake: Repetitive, erratic braking is a common sign that a driver probably had too much (alcohol) to drink.
- Wide turns: Since alcohol can directly affect one's perception, you can sometimes spot a drunk driver when someone making a turn swings it far too wide.
Many of these signs also pertain to those driving under the influence of controlled substances. Either way, it's definitely a cause for immediate concern. If possible, one of the best things to do in such situations is to take the nearest exit or pull off the road to stop to get away from the questionable driver. Police say it helps decrease the number of drunk driving incidents when conscientious motorists report such sightings to them.
If you're injured
Sometimes, there just isn't enough time in fast-moving traffic to safely react to avoid a collision. If a drunk driver hits you, the result can be devastating. Many recovering accident victims have said they felt angry after suffering injuries in an accident caused by drunk drivers because deep down, they knew their injuries were preventable had it not for the poor choices of others. It's understandable that you'd experience similar emotions as you seek medical attention and strive to attain as full a recovery as possible.
The good news is drunk drivers can be held legally accountable for their dangerous actions. In fact, many of them wind up facing criminal charges, and evidence of those cases can be used to help substantiate personal injury claims filed in civil court. A personal injury attorney can help you determine the maximum amount of compensation to which you may be entitled.