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Could you spot a drunk driver if you saw one?

It's pretty much universally agreed that drunk drivers are a massive danger to both themselves and others. It's also pretty much universally agreed that some people, no matter how much they're warned against drunk driving and no matter what penalties they may face if they are caught, are still going to get behind the wheel while they're inebriated.

Could you spot a drunk driver on the road if you saw one? How do you tell, without actually being in their vehicle with them, that a driver might be impaired? Here are the clues that a driver might be impaired:

  • A car that keeps accelerating or decelerating suddenly
  • Tailgating or other aggressive behavior
  • A car that keeps weaving, drifting out of lane or crossing the centerline
  • A vehicle that's going the wrong way down a road
  • A car without its headlights on after dark
  • A car that is moving too slowly -- particularly if they're going slower than 10 mph below the posted limit
  • A car that just seems to stop erratically or doesn't respond to traffic signals

Depending on the situation, you may even see a driver who is slumped over the wheel, nodding off -- and particularly bold offenders may even be brave enough to have an open container in their hands if they're on a back road or residential street.

If you suspect that you're sharing the road with a drunk driver, pull over somewhere safe and stop the car. Call 911 and alert the police. Give them as much information as possible about the other vehicle's location, make and model. Once it's safe, you can be on your way again.

If you do end up in a wreck with a drunk, find out what it takes to pursue a claim for compensation. You shouldn't have to suffer with financial losses because of someone else's foolish actions.

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