Even if you don’t personally drink and drive, the sad reality is that other people do. And as long as there’s a chance that others will drive under the influence, it’s important to recognize if, and when, a motorist in traffic is drunk. Being able to detect a drunk driver might not change the fact that they’re intoxicated, but it does give sober drivers an opportunity to avoid close proximity with recklessly drunk drivers.
Keep Your Eyes Peeled:Scientist/Researcher Emily Swaim cautions that, “Despite all the warnings, public awareness/educational programs, and stiffer penalties for violations, people will still get behind the wheel of their vehicles while intoxicated. An adult driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 is seven times more likely to be involved in a fatal motor vehicle crash than a sober driver.” Here are a few clear red flags that someone in traffic is driving under the influence:
- They constantly swerve and drift in their lane of traffic. In extreme situations, they even straddle traffic lanes.
- They drive for long distances with their headlamps off. Some drunk drivers aren’t very aware of whether or not they’re driving in the dark.
- They make sudden turns, or illegal turns, without any hesitation. Drunk drivers also have a tendency to make wide turns.
- They don’t obey posted traffic signs and traffic lights. They blow through ‘Stop’ signs and red lights without a care in the world.
- They make frequent and random emergency stops. Drunk drivers often tailgate in a reckless way.
- They drive slowly. In an attempt to stay safe while being inebriated, drunk drivers assume that slow driving will improve their reaction time in traffic.
- They have close calls with collisions. Probably the first thing you’ll notice about a drunk driver is that they almost hit something or someone.