Drunk driving accidents kill over 10,000 people in the United States every year. And the number of people who suffer from serious injuries due to a drunk driving related incident is even higher. With services such as Über and Lyft so easily accessible, there should be no reason why these accidents keep occurring. However, they do. If you see someone on the road that is displaying signs of drunk driving, report them. Below, we go over some ways to report a drunk driver when you see them on the road. It can mean the difference between life and death. If you have been in an accident, contact an accident attorney in our office. Consultations with an accident lawyer at Silverthorne Attorneys are free!
Accident Lawyer | Reporting Drunk Drivers
If you see someone that is displaying signs of erratic behavior on the road and you think they may be driving under the influence, our accident lawyer always advises that you remain safe and report them. You are not only doing yourself and other drivers on the road a favor, you are also saving the life of the driver as well. Some people do not realize the magnitude of what can happen in an accident. Below are some ways to report a drunk driver.
Call the Police
If you are able, contact the police right away. If you are alone in your car, find a safe place to pull over without putting yourself and others on the road in danger. Most phones have a hands-free option, if that is the case for you, feel free to keep using and keep driving. Tell the police as much information as you can. For instance, what actions the driver was taking that made their driving unsafe and led you to calling them. Tell the operator that you want to report a potential drunk driver and give them the details. Focus on illegal and unsafe actions like speeding, swerving between lanes, running red lights, etc. Even these unsafe maneuvers will give police enough of a reason to detain the driver.
Collect as much information about what you saw as possible. This will be important when the police arrive at the scene. Tell the operator the following information about the car’s location:
- the street you last saw the vehicle on
- nearby intersections, mile markers, landmarks
- any information about the location of the car that will be helpful
- the direction the car was traveling
- how fast the car was going
- what the driver was doing
Collecting as much information as you can for the police is incredibly important. You will also want to collect the following information (if safe to do so) as well:
- license plate number
- make and model
- year (if you can tell)
- bumper stickers
- noticeable marks to the car
- these can be dents, paint discolorations, etc. whatever details you can give the police
Spotting Drunk Drivers
One of the giveaways for drunk drivers is erratic swerving. Yes, sometimes people weave in and out of traffic if they are distracted by their phones, talking to passengers, etc. However, keep your eyes peeled for people who are displaying the following:
- driving in the center line
- cannot stay in the same lane
- swerving between multiple lines
- drifting to the side of the road
- driving too close to other cars, road signs, barriers, etc.
Also, be aware of vehicles that are driving significantly under or over the speed limit. Our accident lawyer knows that when someone is intoxicated, they often lack the necessary perception of speed. Because of this, those who drive drunk tend to drive well past the posted speed limit. On the other hand, they may be a little too cautious and drive incredibly too slow. Look out for drivers who are driving at least 15mph or more over the speed limit along with other erratic behaviors.
Do they have trouble stopping?
Oftentimes, when someone is driving under the influence, they may have trouble stopping. That is because they cannot judge the distance between themselves and other objects around them. Drunk drivers will often stop well before or after stop signs or lights. On the other hand, they also may stop and park at strange angles. When combined with excessive speeds, these stops tend to be jerky and very random.
One of the most important things for you to remember is to stay safe when you encounter a drunk driver. Our accident attorney suggests that you do your best to keep an eye on their vehicle at all times. Whether you are in front or behind, make sure you can see their car clearly. If necessary, turn off any music or other distractions so you can focus on safety.
Stay as far away from the car as possible. Yes, you want to get as much information about the car and driver in order to report to the police. But your safety is of the utmost importance. If you need, pull over in order to get a safe enough distance away from the driver.
Never follow or try to stop the car on your own. Because, as any good accident lawyer can tell you, the best way to stop a drunk driver is by calling the police and letting them take care of it. Attempting to follow the car can put you and others on the road in more danger. And depending on your methods, it is also illegal.
Remember, be safe while you are in the process of reporting a drunk driver. You never want to cause another accident because you are trying to prevent one.
Contact an Accident Attorney Today!
If you have been injured in an accident due to a drunk driver, contact us to discuss your case. Consultations with an accident attorney in our office are free!