Drunk driving is a serious problem across the United States, and Florida is no exception. Impaired drivers in Florida caused 15,349 crashes in 2021, which led to the deaths of 799 Floridians in drunk driver-related automobile accidents. Drunk drivers pose a serious threat to those sharing the roadway, and impaired driving incidents are at the highest points they’ve been since 2006. You can’t control what other people do in their automobiles, but you can learn to be on the lookout for these common signs that a driver is intoxicated.
Erratic Driving: When a driver is drunk, they can struggle to control their vehicle and keep it within the established lines on the road. They may even drive over to the opposite side of the road into oncoming traffic. It’s not uncommon for drunk drivers to experience fatigue, blurred vision, and dizziness. These problems can make it difficult for drunk drivers to operate their vehicles safely. If you are behind a drunk driver or in the opposite lane, they may notice the other driver is weaving in and out of traffic and incapable of steady driving. Look out for anyone operating their vehicle erratically.
Reckless Driving: An intoxicated driver has impaired judgment. It’s difficult for a drunk driver to remain cautious and prudent while driving. They often make irresponsible driving choices, like speeding, racing, driving in the wrong direction, ignoring traffic signs, driving without lights, and tailgating. When under the influence of drugs or alcohol, impaired drivers operate their vehicles recklessly and erratically. If you’ve noticed a driver making dangerous or risky choices, it could be a sign the driver is impaired.
Driving Slowly: It may seem like going slow would be good for drunk drivers, but that is not true. When a driver is on the road not adhering to driving conventions, they create unsafe roadway conditions. Usually, impaired drivers go slowly to avoid detection, but sometimes they are unaware of their surroundings and don’t realize the speed limit. Being inebriated or under the influence of drugs can make a driver feel dizzy and confused, so be on the lookout for extremely slow drivers on a roadway with a higher speed limit.
Unexpected Stopping: Drunk drivers can suddenly pass out or feel extremely tired while trying to drive their vehicle. If they fall asleep behind the wheel or pass out, the vehicle can stop suddenly without a driver in operation. Sometimes you may encounter an inebriated driver asleep at a traffic light or slowly drifting from the road or between lanes as their vehicle comes to a stop.
Ignoring Driving Rules: All drivers break driving laws occasionally, so this tip can be difficult to use effectively. While a sober driver may speed up to miss a red light, an intoxicated driver is likely to make multiple consecutive driving infractions. Be on the lookout for drivers speeding, making illegal lane changes, failing to stop, turning without a signal, making illegal turns, or driving the wrong way on a one-way street. If a driver ignores more than one roadway rule, it can be a sign of intoxication.
Late Night Excursions: Most drunk driving accidents happen after bars and clubs have closed, usually on Friday and Saturday nights. Between 2 and 3 am, roadways can be particularly dangerous, so avoiding the roadways can make it less likely to encounter a drunk driver.
If you think you’ve encountered a drunk driver, it’s crucial to maintain a safe distance and call 911. You can report the license plate of the drunk driver and give officers a description of the vehicle. You should never try to engage a drunk driver or get close enough to cause a collision.
Florida Car Accident Attorney
Not every automobile accident can be evaded, but you may be able to avoid drunk driving accidents by learning to spot an intoxicated driver and being ultra-vigilant when sharing the road with them. When you’re driving, it’s important to give yourself as much time as possible to get to your location. If you’re involved in a car crash with a drunk driver, the experienced Florida car accident attorneys at Pittman Law Firm, P.L. can help you hold negligent drivers accountable. Call us today at (239) 603-6913 to schedule a consultation and case review.