Signs that the driver near you may be placing your life at risk

There's nothing worse than being on a South Carolina roadway heavily laden with fast-moving traffic when suddenly a car comes dangerously close to you that appears to be moving in erratic patterns. Such stressful driving situations can make your heart feel like it has skipped a beat, and even if you are alert and as cautious as possible behind the wheel, you can't control another motorist's actions. Drunk and/or distracted drivers put your life and others at risk.

If you know the signs of drunk driving ahead of time, you can keep a careful lookout for potential dangers on the road. Police officers receive extensive training in spotting drunk drivers, but really, anyone can learn what to watch for to increase the chances of avoiding collision.

What to watch for, what to do and what not to do

If you're able to recognize a potentially impaired driver, you may lower your risk for injury. However, it's also important to know what to do (and what you definitely do not want to do) if you notice a motorist in your vicinity who you believe exhibits signs of drunk driving. The following list provides information that may help you stay safe:

  • If you notice a car that is traveling much slower than the current traffic flow, it may be a sign that the driver is impaired.
  • Is there a car nearby you that is traveling without headlights on during nighttime hours? That's often a major sign that a driver is drunk as many intoxicated people exit bars, restaurants or clubs and forget to turn their headlights on when they drive home.
  • Any vehicle that veers too far left or right in its lane or comes close to bumping curbs or parked vehicles alongside the road should alert you that something is not right. You may, in fact, be witnessing a drunk driving situation.
  • If you can safely create distance between your vehicle and a driver who appears to be intoxicated, do so.
  • It's generally a very bad idea to attempt to pass an erratically moving car.
  • Trying to confront a possible drunk driver or following close behind another car in order to "keep an eye" on it are also things that could place you at great risk for harm.

If you can take note of the license plate number of the car that is causing you concern, and are able to pull off the road and notify police, that's an option that may save lives. If another car slams into your vehicle before you have a chance to call authorities or get off the road, you may be one of many South Carolina residents whose lives are forever changed after drunk driving accidents.

Obtaining immediate medical care for your injuries is of highest priority following a collision. You'd obviously want to notify your family of the situation as well. Once your most urgent needs are taken care of, you may also want to discuss the situation with someone who can help you seek recovery for your losses in court.

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