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Knowing how to spot a drunk driver may save your life

When you get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle in Connecticut, it is up to you to make responsible choices regarding adherence to traffic regulations and safety. For instance, as a conscientious driver, you no doubt make sure you fasten your seat belt before hitting the road and that you obey all laws that govern your motor vehicle travel. You understand that the best way to avoid major problems, such as drunk driving, is to know the law, know your rights and make safe choices in accordance with both.

None of that has much, if any impact on your ability to avoid another motorist who makes an irresponsible choice to consume copious amounts of alcohol then drives. You simply can't control another person's actions. However, knowing how to recognize the signs of a possible drunk driver, as well as how to access help when needed, may keep you out of harm's way, or at least provide immediate assistance if a collision does occur.

Warning! A drunk driver may be in your midst

It's often challenging enough to safely reach your driving destination when other motorists are speeding or making sudden lane changes. Drunk drivers are menaces to society and the results of collisions they cause are often catastrophic. If you remember the following signs of possible impaired driving, you may be able to avoid a collision:

  • Constant braking: The cars around you should travel in a manner consistent with the traffic flow. If you notice a particular vehicle's brake lights coming on often and at random times that don't seem to fit the current traffic patterns, it's a definite sign that the driver might be intoxicated.
  • Veering or weaving: Drivers who text behind the wheel often exhibit this behavior as well; however, any vehicle that is veering into other lanes or weaving left to right in its own lane is a sign of possible driver intoxication.
  • Wrong way driving: A car coming toward traffic in the wrong direction is a definite 911 situation! It is also often a sign that the person behind the wheel is drunk.
  • Incorrect or absent signaling: If you see a left turn signal blinking and the vehicle turns right, you'll want to keep a close watch and distance yourself from that driver as much as is safely possible at the time. This is a clear sign of possible drunk driving.

Drunk drivers also often forget to turn on their headlights when they exit an establishment and get into their cars to drive. If you're already on the highway and can take a nearby exit or otherwise safely pull over to call police, you can report suspected drunk driving and perhaps save lives.

Sadly, that's not always possible. If you are driving along one moment and land in the hospital the next because of another driver's irresponsible choice to drink and drive, your life may be forever changed.

Where to seek support

In addition to help from loved ones and friends as you recover from your injuries, you may also decide to seek professional counseling if the emotional trauma and memory of the accident is impeding your ability to achieve a full recovery. Many Connecticut victims of drunk driving collisions also pursue justice against those who caused their suffering by filing personal injury claims in civil court.

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