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Signs that a drunk driving collision might be moments away

While traveling in West Virginia, you might witness erratic driving behaviors in another vehicle. It often takes quick thinking to determine if another driver is placing you at risk for a collision. In some cases, you might be able to (safely) take swift action to avoid a crash. At other times, there might not be anything you can do to distance your vehicle from the other. Erratic behavior can be a sign of intoxication, which often leads to a drunk driving collision. 

Every time you get behind the wheel, it helps you stay safe if you are fully aware of your surroundings, stay alert and can anticipate and react to changes in the flow of traffic. Learn how to identify signs that suggest drunk driving might be a life-saving endeavor. It’s also good to know what to do if a collision occurs, especially if you or someone in your vehicle suffers injuries.  

Excessive speed and driving too slowly are both signs of drunk driving 

Many drivers disregard posted speed limits while sober. However, erratic acceleration or speeding (especially through red lights or stop signs) can also be a sign of drunk driving. At the other extreme, a driver who is traveling 10 miles per hour or more under the speed limit might also be showing signs of impairment. 

Additional behaviors that drunk drivers often exhibit on the road 

If you notice a vehicle on the road after dark that does not have headlights on, beware, it might be an intoxicated driver behind the wheel. Forgetting to turn on headlights is a common error drunk drivers often make. Vehicles that are veering out of their lanes or swerving from left to right and back again might be evidence of drunk driving, as well.  

The following list shows several more erratic maneuvers or driving errors that might be present when a driver is acting under the influence of alcohol 

  • Using the wrong turn signal 
  • Driving on the wrong side of the highway 
  • Randomly applying brakes 
  • Tailgating 
  • Hitting a curb while turning 
  • Sideswiping a parked vehicle 
  • Delayed response at a traffic light 
  • Straddling a yellow line 

It’s better to exit the road (if possible) or drop back in traffic if you notice a driver exhibiting any of these behaviors. If you can do so safely, you can stop somewhere and call the police to report the issue.  

If a drunk driving collision occurs 

A drunk driving collision is often determined to have been preventable were it not for the irresponsible choices of the intoxicated driver. Such incidents can be devastating to families and communities when they result in fatalities. If you survive a motor vehicle accident caused by a drunk driver, West Virginia laws allow you to seek restitution by filing a claim in civil court. 

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