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Signs of drunk driving

No matter how safe of a driver you are, you cannot control other people's driving. You can only do your part in avoiding dangerous motorists on the road to reduce the risk of getting into an accident. One of these hazards is drunk drivers behind the wheel, who were responsible for 29 percent of traffic fatalities in 2015, reports the CDC.

The only way to protect yourself from intoxicated drivers in Pennsylvania is by recognizing them on the road so you can stay far away. Become familiar with these signs of drunk driving to keep yourself safe.

Common signs of impairment

Alcohol causes impairment in coordination, judgment and reaction time. However, this impairment does not always manifest itself in obvious ways, such as extreme speeding and swerving. Watch out for these driving behaviors as well:

  • Driving under the speed limit
  • Almost hitting vehicles and objects
  • Making sudden moves, such as abrupt braking or turning
  • Following vehicles too closely (tailgating)
  • Not staying within the lane lines
  • Driving on the wrong side
  • Delayed acceleration
  • Not using headlights

These signs may also be due to drugged or drowsy driving, which is just as dangerous.

How to respond to drunk driving

Once you notice these signs, get out of the driver's vicinity. Do not pass the car, try to get the car to pull over or stop, follow the vehicle or express road rage. Instead, pull over until the vehicle is gone or take a different route if possible.

This puts you out of immediate danger, but the driver is still on the road. Do yourself and your fellow motorists a favor by reporting the impaired driver. Note the make, model and color of the vehicle, as well as any other identifying features you can see, then pull over and call the police. Along with the noted information, give the location of the vehicle and the direction it is going so police can quickly find and detain the driver.

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