How to protect yourself from impaired drivers
Regrettably we have little idea of how many people in SA lose their lives as a result of drunk driving. Possibly, if these were accurately reported, we may even effect a change in motorists about the dangers.
We do however know that nearly 30 people a day in the U.S. lose their lives in drunk driving crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 2017 alone, 10 874 fatalities were attributed to drunk driving. What’s more, that figure does not even include fatalities linked to drug-impaired driving.
Impaired drivers – for whatever reason – are a hazard on our roads. All drivers, specifically those who spend extended hours on the road for business should be equipped and know how to protect themselves and company vehicles from the perils of impaired motorists.
Remind your drivers how to spot drivers under the influence as well as what to do when they encounter one.
Here are some telltale signs of an intoxicated driver:
- Failing to stay in their lane
Impaired drivers tend to swerve because they are unable to focus.
- Hugging the center line
Intoxicated drivers will hug the lane divider in an attempt to avoid swerving and veering off the road
- Hitting objects near the road
Blurred vision and fatigue caused by substance abuse lead drivers to sometimes collide with lamp posts, poles, and other objects.
- Making wide turns
Overdoing basic maneuvers is common among intoxicated drivers because they have trouble judging distances.
- Driving under the speed limit
Impaired drivers will try to remain undetected by the law, which sometimes lead to them being extra cautious and driving well below the speed limit.
Drunk drivers will sometimes attempt to drive straight by mimicking the car ahead, which can result in tailgating,
- Excessive braking
With limited ability to focus and react, impaired motorists may constantly hit the brakes.
- Not using headlights
Alcohol makes people forgetful and a drunk driver may forget to turn on his or her lights.
- Inappropriate signaling
Impaired motorists get easily confused and may use the right signal for a left turn and vice versa.
- Stopping for no reason
Intoxicated drivers may suddenly stop in all the wrong places like at a green light or an intersection without a stop sign.
Here’s what to do, and what not to do, if you encounter an impaired driver on the road:
- Stay far away from the vehicle
- Never attempt to stop an impaired driver
- Do not try to pass the vehicle
- Make sure your seat belt is buckled
- Pull over and call 1011
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