What to Do If a Drunk Driver Is Behind You
When drivers operate a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they put everyone at risk. From pedestrians to other motorists, anyone in the path of an intoxicated driver faces an increased risk of a car accident. Those caught up in a car accident caused by a drunk driver would be wise to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after the accident.
Drunken drivers are dangerous for a number of reasons. Drugs and alcohol affect the body differently, but generally, they reduce a driver’s reaction time. What’s more, these substances could also alter a driver’s decision-making abilities.
Due to the high potential for a wreck, it is important to proceed carefully when you suspect an intoxicated driver is behind you. There is no reason to put your life in jeopardy, so taking proactive steps to avoid the driver should be your top priority. Consider the following steps any time you suspect an intoxicated driver is behind you on the roadway.
Look for warning signs
Drunken drivers are not always easy to identify. Some of these drivers might be able to stay between the road lanes most of the time. Eventually, however, these drivers are bound to slip up. Some signs to watch for include:
- Weaving or swerving between lanes
- Riding the center line or lane markers
- Driving well below the speed limit
- Wide turns
- Following too closely
- Sudden stops
- Rapid acceleration and deceleration
- Slow response to traffic lights
- Driving the wrong way
- Near-misses with other vehicles or fixed objects
If you notice any of these behaviors, it could be evidence of a drunken driver.
Wear a seatbelt
You should never drive without a seatbelt. However, ensuring that your seatbelt is engaged when you are driving near a suspected drunk driver is imperative. In a crash, you are far less likely to experience significant injuries if you are wearing a seat belt. The same is true for any passengers in your vehicle.
Move out of the drunken driver’s path
If you believe a drunken driver is behind you on the roadway, it is important to more out of their path as soon as possible. Do not panic, however, as sudden movements could cause the driver to crash into you or become confused. Exit the roadway as soon as possible, and leave plenty of time with your blinker on before you exit. If there is no exit in sight, pull over to the side of the road if you believe you can do so safely. Getting out of the path of a suspected drunk driver is your best bet.
Contact law enforcement
As soon as it is safe, contact the police by dialing 9-1-1. Do not attempt to follow the driver, but relay as much information to the 9-1-1 operator about the driver as possible. Specifically, tell the driver where you saw the driver, what they were doing, and what the driver looked like. If possible, memorize the license plate, make, and model of the vehicle. By informing law enforcement of the dangerous driver, you are more likely to prevent someone else from being hurt.
Work with an experienced attorney
Despite the benefits of following these steps to the letter, the reality is that not every accident with a drunk driver can be prevented. If you have suffered an injury in a collision with a drunken driver, our New York City car accident lawyers can help.
With the right legal counsel, you could seek monetary compensation from the drunk driver for your medical bills, car repair costs, and other accident-related expenses. To discuss your claim and learn about the chances you have of recovering compensation, contact Douglas & London as soon as possible to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our skilled New York City personal injury lawyers.