Drunk driving is a serious problem around the country, and the state of California is no exception. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 10,000 people died in drunk driving collisions in our state between 2003 and 2012.
The statistics are even more alarming when you look at the country as a whole. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that across the United States, 28 people die in alcohol-related accidents every single day.
Even if you never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it is likely that you will encounter an impaired motorist at some point if you drive regularly. As such, it is important that you know how to spot a drunk driver so you can keep your distance and avoid a collision.
If you were injured in a crash with a drunk driver, you may be entitled to compensation for healthcare expenses, lost income, and non-economic damages. Contact Jeffrey E. Estes & Associates to discuss your case.
Both Jeffrey E. Estes and Alton J. Smith hold AV Preeminent ratings from the prestigious Martindale-Hubbell attorney rating service. Call 855-290-8080 to schedule a free consultation with a car accident attorney in San Diego.
Read on to learn some of the most common signs of drunk driving:
- Inability to Maintain a Straight Trajectory
Drivers who are intoxicated often struggle to stay in their lane. They may straddle the centerline, drift toward the side of the road, swerve abruptly, or make turns that are unnecessarily wide.
- Disregarding Traffic Laws
Although it is true that motorists who are entirely sober commit traffic violations all the time, impaired drivers are much more likely to do so. If you spot a vehicle running a red light, driving on the wrong side of the road, making an illegal turn, or tailgating another vehicle, its driver may be inebriated.
- Inability to Maintain an Appropriate or Consistent Speed
Alcohol impairs depth perception, so drunk drivers have a hard time judging their speed and distance. That means they may suddenly decelerate or accelerate for no apparent reason. They may also maintain varying levels of speed and stop at odd angles or well before or after a stop line.
- Being Unaware of the Driving Conditions
Drunk drivers are often unable to comprehend the driving conditions. For example, if it is nighttime, an intoxicated motorist might not turn on his or her headlights. If it is raining or snowing, a drunk driver may fail to respond to the road conditions by slowing down and extending his or her following distance.
- Exhibiting Delayed Reactions to Traffic Signals
People who are only slightly inebriated are typically aware of their condition and thus try to compensate by driving extra cautiously and making an overly deliberate attempt to follow all traffic signals. As a result, they may not exhibit any of the above symptoms, but they will have a delayed reaction to all traffic signals.
If you suspect someone on the road is inebriated, keep your distance, and pull over so you can report the vehicle to the local police. The dispatcher will want to know the car’s make and model, location, and direction of travel.
If you were injured or lost a loved one in a collision with a drunk driver, contact Jeffrey E. Estes & Associates. We have recovered more than $150 million for our clients in successful settlements and verdicts.
Call 855-290-8080 to schedule a free consultation with an accident lawyer in San Diego. You can learn more about drunk driving accident claims in California by visiting the USAttorneys website.