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Staying Safe From Drunk Drivers

By Aghabegian & Associates on December 12, 2020

There are few drivers more dangerous than those who drink before getting behind the wheel. The traffic in Glendale and the surrounding Los Angeles area is dense. Chances are you have shared the road with a drunk driver at some point in your life. Thankfully, you are still here to read this blog, but you may not always be so lucky. You should always keep the signs of a drunk driver in mind while on the road so that you can react appropriately and keep yourself, and any passengers, safe.

Signs of a Drunk Driver

One good thing about drunk drivers is that they are fairly obvious when you know what to look for. Alcohol has a serious impact on the brain, so drunk drivers are incapable of driving safely or responsibly. This can make them easy to spot. When you are out and about, keep an eye out for drivers that:

  • Swerve between traffic
  • Can’t stay in one lane
  • Tailgate
  • Speed
  • Make sudden turns and merges without signaling
  • Respond slowly to traffic signals
  • Drive in the incorrect lane

If you notice any of these signs, chances are high that the driver is drunk, drugged, or otherwise impaired. In such a case, you need to know how to protect yourself, otherwise you could end up in a serious, and even life-threatening, accident.

Responding to a Drunk Driver

Knowing the signs of a drunk driver is just step one of protecting yourself. Step two is knowing how best to react. If you find yourself near a drunk driver, you should:

Allow them to pass: The first thing you should do is allow the drunk driver to get ahead of you. They are far more likely to hit you with their vehicle if they are behind you or to the side. If you allow them to pass, then the chances of you becoming their victim goes down.

Get out of the area: If you are unable to let them pass, or they refuse to, then you should try to get out of the area altogether. That means taking a turn you weren’t planning on, or switching lanes, or taking the closest exit. While this may make you late to your destination, it will leave you in a far safer position than if you had stayed near the drunk driver.

Call the authorities: Once you are safely away from the drunk driver, you should then call the police. Tell them where you saw the drunk driver and give a description of the drunk driver’s car and license plate number, if you managed to take it down. From there, the police can go out looking for the drunk driver and arrest him or her, making sure that everyone else on the road stays safe as well.

When Your Driver Is Drunk

When you get into the car with someone, you expect them to be safe and responsible. Whether you are driving with a parent, sibling, friend, or even a taxi or rideshare driver, you are fully within your rights to expect the driver to keep you reasonably safe. A drunk driver is simply incapable of doing that. If you suspect the person driving your car is drunk, then you need to act quickly for the sake of your own safety. Remember, if the drunk driver causes an accident, it isn’t just the people in the other car who could be hurt. You may experience catastrophic injuries as well.

Get out of the car: This is easier said than done. If the car has already started down the road, you shouldn’t get out, as getting out of a moving car can lead to serious injuries. Instead, you should ask the drunk driver to pull over or ask them to pull into a rest stop. Once they do, you should get out and refuse to get back in until someone sober is behind the wheel.

Offer to drive: If you are legally able to do so, and you feel safe doing so, offering to drive may be an easy compromise. It gets the drunk driver out of the driver’s seat, and it allows everyone to get to their destination.

Get a different ride: If you do not feel safe driving yourself, then call for another ride. This maybe from a friend, or through a rideshare app. Either way, you are not obligated to stay with the drunk driver, and you are especially not obligated to get back into the car with them. There is nothing more important than your safety.

Call the authorities: If the drunk driver is refusing to stop, or trying to get back behind the wheel, then you should call the proper authorities. Remember, driving drunk is a crime, and, on top of that, it puts everyone around you at risk. Even if you are friends with the drunk driver and don’t want to get them in trouble, calling the police may be your only option for keeping yourself and others safe.

What to Do as a Victim

Sadly, even when you know what signs to look for and what steps to take, you can still end up the victim of a drunk driver. You are likely suffering from severe injuries and trying to figure out how to pay your mounting medical debt. Thankfully, you do have options. You are fully within your rights to hold the at-fault driver responsible for your injuries and demand compensation from them. Doing so will require the help of an Glendale car accident attorney, however. Luckily, there are such attorneys at Aghabegian & Associates, PC, ready and waiting to fight for your rights. To set up a free consultation, call us at (818) 507-4311 and speak to a member of our team.

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Posted in: Auto Accidents

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