Despite all of the PSAs, drunk driving is still a serious problem in America. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 27 people die every day in drunk driving accidents. If you’re looking for measures to help you identify and avoid these circumstances, here are just five ways to protect yourself and your family from those driving under the influence.
1. Watch for Drivers Behaving Erratically
This is the easiest way to spot a drunk driver. They might be speeding, swerving, weaving or drifting in a way that’s reckless and impulsive. They might come close to striking objects or animals in their path. Even if these people aren’t actually drunk, they’re clearly hazards on the road that should be avoided at all costs.
2. Watch for Drivers Behaving Carefully
On the flip side of the above, if you notice someone driving very gingerly, it’s possible that they’re intoxicated and trying to compensate for it. For example, instead of honoring the speed limit, they’ll drive 10 mph or more under it. Instead of coming to a regular halt at lights and stop signs, they’ll start decelerating way too early.
3. Remove Yourself from the Situation
Once you notice a driver behaving in a way that makes you uncomfortable, it’s critical that you don’t ignore your instincts. Get your car and your family away from them. Make a detour at the nearest exit, or find a different route to the grocery store that day. If you can’t change lanes, at least keep them in front of you instead of behind. The ideal distance is 3–4 car lengths.
4. Report Suspicious Behavior
Bad driving isn’t a crime, but as soon as another driver tips the scale from “questionable” to “dangerous,” it’s your duty to report them to the police. This is especially true if you’re both headed in the direction of, say, your child’s school. You can prevent a tragedy by alerting the authorities to an unsafe situation.
5. Get Legal Help
If you’ve already been injured or run off the road by a drunk driver, look into car accident attorneys who can help you file for damages. They might be able to secure you everything from lost wages to compensation for your medical bills, so it’s worth getting legal assistance after your accident.
These are just a few steps for protecting your family from intoxicated drivers. You can’t control who else is on the road, but you can control your own response to them, and you can make sure that all of your actions are devoted to protecting your loved ones.