Driving in Pennsylvania can be challenging, especially during winter. If you’re the parent of an inexperienced teenage driver, you likely worry every time you hand your son or daughter the car keys and he or she heads out the door. Perhaps, you provide instructions and reminders to keep eyes on the road and hands on the wheel at all times, and to stay focused on the task at hand. Whether you’re the one driving or your child is, other motorists can place you at risk for injury.
Drunk drivers, especially, are menaces to Pennsylvania roadways. A key to avoiding driving disasters is to learn how to recognize signs that suggest a specific driver might be dealing with intoxication. When a drunk driver is nearby, there may be little to nothing you can do to stay safe. Then again, staying alert and observing your surroundings might be a key factor to avoiding collision.
Driving posture that suggests intoxication
If you’re driving along a Pennsylvania highway and you notice another driver sitting at the front edge of the driver’s seat, beware. Drunk drivers often assume this posture. They slide far up in their seat, tightly grip the steering wheel and may even be squinting or acting as though they’re trying to get as close as possible to their windshield.
This type of driving posture is a definite warning sign that the person behind the wheel might be dealing with intoxication. As in any potentially dangerous situation, it’s best if you can try to distance yourself from a person exhibiting suspicious driving behaviors.
While it’s unlikely that you might maintain the exact same speed during a single road trip, it’s typical that your driving pattern will match the current traffic flow, meaning, if traffic slows down, you slow down or apply brakes as needed, if there is a traffic light or something occurs that causes the cars in front of you to stop.
Drunk drivers often apply their brakes or gas pedals randomly, without any consistency according to the traffic flow around them. Driving too fast or driving too slow are both dangerous. If you notice a vehicle traveling at random speeds, it might be a sign of driver intoxication.
Alcohol often impairs depth perception
A person who is operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol might have great difficulty navigating turns. If you witness a driver taking a turn far too widely or so tightly that he or she clips a curb, it is reason to suspect alcohol or drug-related impairment.
Other signs of drunk driving
Drunk drivers often forget to turn their headlights on at night. They might come dangerously close to parked cars or other vehicles, even to pedestrians. If a person is tailgating you, he or she might be an intoxicated driver. Failing to stop at a red light or entering the wrong lane of traffic are also danger signs that a person behind the wheel might be acting under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
What to do if you witness a suspicious driver
How you react to potential roadway danger depends on what’s going on around you at the time. If you’re in a lot of traffic, traveling at speeds of 55 miles per hour or more, you might not be able to react safely or swiftly enough to avoid collision if a drunk driver veers into your lane or is coming up on your bumper from behind. However, if it’s possible, it’s always a good idea to pull off the road and alert 911 dispatchers of the situation.
Many Pennsylvania accident victims seek financial recovery for their losses when the cause of the collision that resulted in their injuries was drunk driving. Court-awarded compensation has helped many accident victims pay medical bills and replace lost wages from time off work during recovery.
Contact an Easton motor vehicle injury attorney to learn more.