So far, in 2023, the Washington State Patrol has investigated 518 DUI crashes, shedding light on the persistent issue of impaired driving on our roads. The alarming statistics show the importance of collective vigilance in ensuring road safety. If you ever find yourself in the unsettling situation of witnessing a drunk driver on the roads of Washington, it’s crucial to know the appropriate steps to take.
In this blog, we’ll explore what to do if you encounter a drunk driver, providing valuable insights that can contribute to the overall safety of our communities. If you were involved in a catastrophic DUI car accident in Washington, make sure to speak with an experienced Edmonds car accident lawyer today.
Identifying signs of a drunk driver on the road is crucial for maintaining safety. Here are some key indicators that a motorist may be driving under the influence:
- Erratic Driving:
One of the most noticeable signs is erratic or unpredictable driving behavior. This includes swerving between lanes, making abrupt lane changes without signaling, or straddling the centerline.
- Inconsistent Speed:
Drunk drivers often struggle to maintain a consistent speed. You may observe a vehicle that is excessively speeding up, slowing down unexpectedly, or driving significantly below the speed limit.
Following too closely, or tailgating is a common behavior associated with impaired driving. Drunk drivers may have difficulty judging proper following distances, putting themselves and others at risk.
- Delayed Response to Traffic Signals:
Impaired drivers might react slowly to traffic signals, including delayed responses to green lights or a noticeable lag in stopping at stop signs.
- Struggling with Turns:
Difficulty making turns, especially wide or sharp turns, is a potential sign of impairment. Drunk drivers may have trouble maintaining proper control of their vehicle during maneuvers.
- Braking Issues:
Watch for abrupt or inconsistent braking patterns. Drunk drivers may slam on the brakes unexpectedly or fail to brake in time, leading to dangerous situations.
If you spot someone who may be driving under the influence, it’s crucial not to attempt any intervention or interference with the motorist. Instead, prioritize safety by following these steps:
Pull Over Safely:
Once you’ve identified a potentially drunk driver, pull over to a safe location. Avoid trying to handle the situation yourself, as this could put you at risk.
Dial 911 to connect with emergency services. Inform the dispatcher that you suspect a drunk driver on the road and provide them with the following details:
- The vehicle’s make, model, and color.
- The license plate number (if possible).
- The location where you saw the drunk driver.
- The direction in which the driver was headed.
- The driver’s physical appearance.
- Any specific behaviors that led you to believe they were impaired?
Remember, your role is to be a responsible observer, and the authorities are better equipped to handle the removal of an impaired driver from the road.
If you’ve been involved in an accident with a drunk driver, your well-being and legal rights are of the utmost importance. Seek the assistance you need by calling Wells Trumbull for expert legal help.