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Know the signs of drunk driving

In and around Pittsburgh, your safety may be at risk because of people who consume alcohol then drive. It's not fair that you may be a cautious and law-abiding driver, yet suffer injury because of another person's negligence. Drunk drivers are menaces to Pennsylvania roadways. If you know how to recognize signs of possible drunk driving, you may be able to safely distance your vehicle from a driver who is causing you concern.

That's not always possible, however, especially during rush hour or other times when roads are traffic-laden. Surviving a drunk driving accident means you may have a long, arduous recovery ahead of you. Even if you are able to heal and return to work and other daily activities in a short amount of time, the financial consequences of your accident may be far-reaching and long-lasting. If you know where to seek support, you may be able to achieve as full a recovery as possible.

Suspicious driving behavior

As a motorist, you really have no way of knowing whether another driver is intoxicated behind the wheel. However, any of the following driving behaviors is suggestive of possible intoxicated driving:

  • Wrong turn signals: If you witness a driver using his or her right turn signal but turning left or vice versa, it's definitely a sign that he or she is distracted and possibly a sign that the driver is drunk.
  • Speed doesn't correlate with traffic flow: Drunk drivers will often speed up or slow down at rates that are not consistent with existing traffic patterns.
  • Driver is too far forward in the seat: A major sign that a driver might be under the influence of alcohol is sitting too far forward in the driver's seat as though he or she is hyper-focused on the windshield.
  • No headlights at night: Someone who leaves a restaurant or bar, and then gets into a car to drive while drunk, may forget to turn on headlights when it's after dusk.
  • Veering out of the traffic lane: You'll want to be as far as possible away from any motorist who is drifting over the yellow line or coming too close to, or bumping the curbside. This is a common behavior of drunk drivers.

Exit the road or pull to the side to call 911 and report a suspicious driver if you're able to do so safely. Dispatchers can send police to the scene to investigate the situation and your report may save lives. Many tragedies occur when drivers aren't able to safely distance themselves from intoxicated drivers and wind up suffering fatal injuries or injuries that cause partial or full disability.

The road to recovery

If you become a victim of a drunk driving collision, you may suffer far more than physical injuries. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may have to take time off work, get a new car or perhaps go to physical therapy or counseling to help you cope and get life back on track. Resources are available in Pennsylvania to help you obtain the support you need to recover physically, emotionally and financially from a drunk driving accident.

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