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Can you spot a drunk driver?

You do your best to be careful when you're out there on the road, and you understand that defensive driving is important. But how do you protect yourself against something like a drunk driver?

Know the signs. If you can spot a drunk driver, you can take steps to evade them and even report them to the authorities. Here's what you will commonly see with drunk drivers:

  • Tailgating, especially aggressively so
  • Abrupt or illegal turns
  • Inconsistent speed, including rapid accelerations and decelerations
  • Driving the wrong way into traffic
  • Driving more than 10 miles per hour below the posted speed limit for now discernible reason
  • Striking or almost striking curbs or objects on the curb
  • Sudden braking for no visible cause
  • Forgotten headlights at night
  • Driving down the center of the lane, on the yellow line
  • Drifting in and out of moving traffic
  • Lagging responses to traffic signals
  • Inconsistent signaling (like putting on a left-hand turn signal and driving straight)
  • Driving off the road, onto yards or other areas

Typically, you're more likely to see drunk drivers in the evening and wee hours of the morning, when people are coming home from the bars -- but it can happen at any time.What can you do if you think you're on the road with a drunk driver? Take immediate steps to secure your safety:

  1. Pull over so that you are less likely to get into an accident.
  2. Try to get as much identifying information as you can, including the type of vehicle, where it seems to be heading and the license plate number.
  3. Call 911. Give the authorities as many details as you can about the issue.

Drunk drivers aren't just a hazard to themselves -- they cause accidents that maim and kill other people. If you or your loved one falls victim to a drunk driver, find out more about your legal options for compensation.

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