Statistics show that, on average, 30 people die daily in drunk-driving crashes on America’s roads. Many more are injured in these accidents, and altogether, they can account for more than 10,000 deaths every single year.
The statistics are difficult to accept, and the worst part of all is that so much of that loss and suffering could have been avoided if the people involved had made better decisions or those around them had acted more prudently to stop their loved ones from driving while drunk.
Even just one drink can impair your driving abilities, negatively affecting your decision-making skills, slowing your reaction times, and making you far less likely to have a safe and simple drive home. With that in mind, let’s look at some tips for dealing with drunk drivers and avoiding becoming one too.
How to Deal with Drunk Drivers
Accidents involving an intoxicated driver accounted for nearly one-third of fatalities on the roads, so knowing how to cope when you encounter one is very important. So let’s look at some ways in which you can handle the situation and stay safe if you spot a drunk driver on the road.
Know the Signs
In order to deal with drunk drivers and avoid them, you need to know how to identify them in the first place. There are usually a few telltale signs that show when someone may be driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances.
Usually, you will notice drunk drivers swerving in one direction or another, rather than driving in a straight line. They may find it hard to stay within the painted lines of the road, and they may be slower to pull out at intersections or traffic lights.
Keep Your Distance
If you feel that you’ve identified a drunk driver on the road around you, one of the best things you can possibly do is keep your distance from them. Drunk drivers are prone to making erratic movements, sudden stops, and sharp turns in any direction.
You won’t want to find yourself anywhere near them if they suddenly decide to make an unexpected turn or stop. In some situations, the best option may simply be to pull over and wait for them to move on. During this time, you can also alert the authorities.
Wear Your Seatbelt
Seatbelts save lives. It’s as simple as that, and plenty of evidence exists to back up this claim, with studies and reports showing that literally thousands of lives of both drivers and passengers are saved each year, thanks to seatbelts.
Always make sure to buckle up before setting off on any journey, and especially if you encounter a drunk driver, ensure that yourself and all of your passengers are wearing their belts and sitting correctly, just in case anything happens.
Be Prudent in Evenings and at Weekends
In order to keep yourself and your passengers safe, you should always be alert, focused, and concentrated when sitting behind the wheel. You shouldn’t allow any distractions to take your attention from the road at any time, but this is especially important at weekends and in the evenings.
These are the times when drunk drivers tend to be most prevalent, as people tend to visit bars in the evenings after work or at the weekends with their friends. The dark conditions increase the chances of accidents even further, so it’s absolutely vital to keep your wits about you at all times.
Stopping Yourself Becoming a Drunk Driver
Many people say that they would never drink and drive, but a shocking number of individuals end up breaking that promise in the heat of the moment. Here are some tips to prevent yourself from becoming a drunk driver and contributing to the problem.
Use Other Means of Transport
There’s no harm in going out to a bar or restaurant with your friends and having a drink or two, as long as you make your way home safely, without getting behind the wheel. Fortunately, in this day and age, there are lots of other options when it comes to transport, so there’s really no excuse for driving while drunk.
You can ask a friend or family member to give you a ride, for example, or you can hail a cab, make use of a rideshare app such as Uber or Lyft, ride public transport, or find another option. There are always other ways, so you should never feel like driving home is your only choice.
Wait it Out
In some situations, it might be a little more difficult to get a ride from someone you know or find a public form of transport to get home. In this case, if you know that you will need to drive at some point, the only thing you can really do is wait for the effects of the alcohol to subside.
The amount of time this takes can vary from person to person, and if you’ve had too many drinks, you won’t be in a safe state to drive until the next day. If you’ve only had one or two, however, you may be able to wait a couple of hours, drink some water in the meantime, and gradually let your body recover. But remember to never get behind the wheel if you still feel any of the effects.
Know Your Body
Another good method for avoiding drunk-driving is to make sure you know and understand the limits and reactions of your body. The legal levels of drunk driving can vary from state to state, but the effects of alcohol on the body and mind can vary from person to person too.
Some people can have a bottle of beer and metabolize it very quickly, while others can be much more deeply affected by even a single drink. Knowing your limits and sticking to them can help you avoid going too far.
Drunk driving is one of the worst problems of modern times, leading to so many tragedies all the time. Hopefully, these tips can help you to avoid becoming part of the problem, as well as aiding you in avoiding those who make such poor choices.
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