Drunk driving is, hands down, the greatest threat to other people on the road. There were 217 alcohol-related fatal traffic accidents in Pennsylvania last year. Overall, there were nearly 11,000 vehicle crashes in 2012 in which one or more drivers had been drinking.
So what should you do if you suspect a car is under the control of a drunk driver?
We can assure you that if you are involved in a central Pennsylvania automobile accident because another driver was intoxicated, it is not your fault. Responsibility for making things right goes along with culpability for the injury. The drunk driver who acted irresponsibly is legally obliged to make things right again.
At the same time, it is common sense to avoid an accident whenever possible. If you spot a drunk driver on the road, you may have the opportunity to prevent a Dauphin County car crash. The question then becomes: do you know how to identify the warning signs of an intoxicated driver?
Look for these ten signs that another driver may be intoxicated
You can’t drive defensively in Pennsylvania unless you can recognize when another driver is not in control of his vehicle. Here are ten behaviors that can indicate a driver has consumed too much alcohol:
- Driving with excessive caution, dramatically under the speed limit and less than the flow of traffic.
- Narrow misses: the vehicle almost strikes another vehicle or a stationary object.
- Passing or following other vehicles too closely.
- Driving on the wrong side of the road.
- Running off the road or driving on the shoulder.
- Weaving across lanes, especially without signaling.
- Driving at night with headlights off.
- Stopping or driving in reverse while traveling along a highway.
- Making exaggerated turns with a wide radius.
- Braking, accelerating, or slowing down suddenly without apparent reason.
What to do if you suspect a drunk driver is on the road
If you believe that an intoxicated driver is sharing the road with you, practice defensive driving skills. Stay away from the vehicle; if necessary, pull off the road when it safe to do so. Make sure you and your passengers have your seat belts secured. If you are parked and can use your cell phone safely, call 911 and report your suspicions. You can also have a passenger make the call while you are engaged in driving. Do not try to stop the driver or to follow his vehicle too closely.
You need to take reasonable precautions to prevent injury from a drunk driver. That doesn’t mean you’re “partly responsible” if you fail to avoid a dangerous drunk driver. We have heard some attorneys argue the point in court when they are representing intoxicated drivers, but it is not true.
If a car collision caused by a drunk driver has inflicted serious injuries on you or a family member, you need immediate legal advice. Call us at (717) 888-8888 and ask for a FREE copy of our book, Who Pays The Bills When You Are Injured In An Automobile Accident? We’ll send it to you for no charge at all and with no future obligation.
Read the book as you recover. If you decide that we are able to make the law easy for you to understand, then talk to us again when you decide you want to hold the drunk driver accountable for the harm he did. We can help you get the recovery for medical bills, lost wages, pain, and other losses. Contact the injury law firm of Schmidt Kramer for a free consultation about your case, and we’ll explain our strategy for getting you the compensation you need.