Although drunk driving is illegal in the United States, it remains one of the leading causes of car accidents. In 2020, more than 11,500 of the 38,824 deaths caused by car accidents involved drunk drivers.
Drunk driving occurs when someone operates a vehicle while their blood alcohol content (BAC) is equal to or higher than the legal limit of 0.08 BAC. However, drivers with less than 0.08 BAC can also cause accidents because even a BAC of 0.02 can affect judgment.
Despite efforts to increase awareness about the risks of drunk driving, a survey by American Addiction Centers revealed that almost 35% of drivers drove after drinking alcohol, and 53.5% of respondents indicated they believed they could operate a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol. Since so many people drive after drinking and feel safe to do so, other drivers may feel compelled to take steps to protect themselves from drunk drivers. Let’s look at ways to reduce your risks of being in a drunk driving accident and reasons to contact a car crash attorney if you are in a drunk driving accident.
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How do I protect myself from drunk drivers?
Protecting yourself from drunk drivers begins with drunk driving awareness. Understanding the everyday habits of drunk drivers — such as when they’re most likely to be on the road and typical behaviors that can help you spot drunk drivers — can help you adjust your plans to avoid them.
What times are most drunk drivers on the road?
Driving under the influence is most likely to occur between the hours of 7 p.m. and 3 a.m. There’s also a greater chance of encountering a drunk driver after special events, such as the Superbowl, or on special occasions like holiday weekends.
How do I spot drunk drivers on the road?
Drunk drivers behave erratically while driving. Some may not pay attention to the road or have difficulty controlling the vehicle so that they will swerve between lanes or between their lane and the shoulder of the road. If a driver’s having trouble staying between the yellow lines, it’s a sign something’s wrong, and you should keep your distance.
Drunk drivers may also speed up and slow down unexpectedly. Slamming on the brakes without cause or abruptly speeding up could indicate that the driver is intoxicated. Drunk drivers may also fail to follow traffic laws. For example, they may ignore road signs and traffic lights.
What should you do if you see a driver who may be intoxicated?
Keep your distance from any vehicle operated by someone who may be drunk. Pull over, call the police, and report your concerns. Let authorities intervene and assess the driver’s condition. The police can get the driver off the road if they’re intoxicated.
Other ways to protect yourself
Follow standard safety tips to reduce your chances of an accident or prevent injuries. Some ways to prevent accidents include the following:
- Double-check at intersections: Stop and look both ways to ensure the way is clear before entering an intersection.
- Leave extra space between vehicles: If a driver stops unexpectedly, leaving extra space ensures you have time to stop.
- Remain alert: Monitor all vehicles around you and watch for signs of erratic driving.
- Support police checkpoints: Police set up checkpoints to check drivers’ BAC. Keep their locations secret so the police can get drunk drivers off the road.
Protect yourself from injuries by doing the following things:
- Follow the speed limit
- Use vehicles with airbags
- Wear a seatbelt
Protecting yourself after a crash
Avoiding drunk drivers isn’t always possible. You may take every safety precaution and still end up in a crash with a drunk driver. Consider calling a Miami drunk driver crash lawyer from the accident scene if that happens. A car accident attorney can explain how to protect your rights after an accident. Other things you should do include the following:
- Call the police
- Get contact information for witnesses
- Get the other driver’s information
- Note factors affecting the accident
- Seek medical attention
- Take photos and/or videos
You should not do the following things after an accident:
- Admit fault
- Leave the scene
How can a car accident lawyer help you after an accident?
Car accident victims may receive compensation for costs caused by their accidents, such as vehicle repair costs and medical bills. Accident victims can also seek compensation for the accident’s emotional and physical impact, such as pain and trauma.
The car accident lawyers at Bernstein & Maryanoff can explain your options and answer your questions. We don’t charge legal fees until the case is resolved, so there’s no financial risk. We will prepare your case and fight for you to receive compensation.
NO FEES UNLESS WE WIN
Protecting Your Rights Since 1983
Contact Bernstein & Maryanoff today and get a free legal consultation regarding your car accident.
Amanda. (2022). Defensive Driving. How to Protect Yourself from Drunk Drivers.
Bray, I. et al. (2023). Common Causes of Car Accidents.
Drunk Driving. (2023).
About the Author
Jack G. Bernstein, ESQ.
Jack Bernstein is a hard-working and highly motivated personal injury attorney in Miami, Florida with over three decades of experience. He is a strategist and idea person, with a genuine passion for helping his firm’s clients. If you’ve been injured, contact Jack Bernstein today for a free evaluation of your case.