It’s becoming increasingly common to encounter careless drivers on the road. Aggressive driving and road rage are particularly common during rush hour. In addition, the smartphone era has led to a significant spike in distracted driving. Still, drunk driving remains one of the deadliest forms of negligent driving—causing more than one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities in the state of Alaska.
When you encounter a dangerous driver on the road, it can be extremely beneficial to be able to distinguish the cause of the driving behavior—in order to inform how you should safely respond. Avoiding a collision with an aggressive driver requires a different response than with a drunk driver, for example.
In today’s post, we highlight some of the indicators of drunk driving—and how to limit your risk of personal injury.
Drunk driving behavior
A drunk driver’s reactions are dulled. They do not respond promptly to changing road conditions. Their coordination and attentiveness are also impaired. A drunk driver may:
- Drift between lanes, or drive off of the road
- Fail to use their headlights at night
- Drive below the speed limit
- Vary their driving speed in a random manner
- Stop for no reason
- Collide with roadside obstructions and continue driving
- Drive on the wrong side of the road
Avoiding a collision
Drunk drivers usually drive below the speed limit. If you see a careless driving lazily weaving between lanes in front of you, it can be tempting to speed past them. However, driving alongside—or in front of—a drunk driver puts you at high risk of a crash.
Instead, stay well behind the driver. When you have a safe opportunity, call 9-1-1 to report the drunk driver, including their:
- License plate number
- Color, make and model of vehicle
- Street and direction of travel
Don’t let impatience to reach your destination cause you to make a risky driving choice. Recognizing the signs of drunk driving can help you avoid unnecessary disaster.