If you’ve ever been driving along a Texas highway when another driver cuts you off or speeds up dangerously close to your bumper, you know how frightening it can be. As a licensed driver, you owe your fellow motorists an obligation to adhere to traffic laws to keep them and yourself as safe as possible. They owe you that same obligation.
Drunk drivers are menaces to the roadway. If an intoxicated driver veers out of his or her lane and hits you as you are heading in the opposite direction, you might suffer serious, even life-threatening injuries. This is why it is important to know how to recognize signs of possible intoxication as you scan your surroundings while navigating Texas roads.
If you witness these driving behaviors, beware
Tailgating is a nuisance, but it is also often a sign of drunk driving. A person who has consumed alcohol before getting behind the wheel might have trouble with depth perception, not realizing how closely to your rear bumper he or she is traveling. A drunk driver might make a left-hand turn from a right lane or vice versa. They often have difficulty navigating turns, as well. If you notice a driver taking a turn wider than necessary or clipping a curb because he or she is not turning wide enough, it might be a sign that the person behind the wheel is dealing with intoxication.
Random braking is another common behavior among drunk drivers. If you notice a driver applying brakes erratically or in a pattern that does not match traffic flow, try your best to distance yourself from that vehicle. Drunk drivers often have trouble keeping their vehicles in the center of their lanes. They might veer left or right or careen right over the yellow line into oncoming traffic. Another error intoxicated motorists often make is forgetting to turn on headlights while driving at night.
What should you do if you suspect a nearby driver is drunk?
If you are able to create distance between your vehicle and the car or truck in question, it is always best to do so. In fact, you might even take the next exit or pull off the road and stop for a while, if you’re able to do so safely. Many Texas drivers have pulled over and then called 911 to report suspicious driving behavior. If you do this, officers can search for the vehicle and determine whether they should make a traffic stop.
What if none of your attempts to avoid a collision work? What if you don’t even have time to react because a drunk driver suddenly slams into your vehicle? There are thousands of lives lost every year in collisions that were easily preventable were it not for drivers illegally operating vehicles under the influence of alcohol. You have a right to seek financial recovery for your losses if you suffer injury because of another person’s negligence or reckless driving behavior.