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How to spot a drunk driver before a crash

You know that drinking and driving get worse at night and on the weekends. You also know it's a serious threat during the holiday season. Unfortunately, you can't help but drive during this time, so you decide you're going to be vigilant and look for drunk drivers, hoping you can spot them before an accident happens.

What should you look for? Clearly, it varies from case to case. Some drunk drivers get very good at disguising it, while others don't. A few things to watch out for include:

  • Not using headlights after dark
  • Swerving from one side of the lane to the other
  • Driving fully or partially in the wrong lane
  • Braking for no reason, in an erratic and sudden manner
  • Braking much too soon or too late when approaching a stoplight
  • Making incredibly wide turns
  • Just barely missing collisions with other cars
  • Not turning on a green arrow or not moving forward promptly at a green light
  • Sitting very close to the steering wheel
  • Tailgating other cars consistently
  • Accelerating very slowly or very quickly
  • Making illegal turns
  • Turning suddenly or almost missing exits

Essentially, you just want to look for mistakes that seem very easy to avoid. It's especially problematic when you notice multiple mistakes. For instance, someone may honestly forget their headlights at night when driving in town. If they're doing that while swerving all over the road and making erratic decisions, though, it may mean they are intoxicated.

Even spotting drunk drivers in advance does not guarantee you can avoid a crash. Be sure you know how to seek financial compensation if you get hit.

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