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Alcohol-impaired driving is a serious offense that can lead to major injuries and even fatalities, and if you have been affected by a drunk driver, you need to reach out to a drunk driving accident attorney in Phoenix as soon as possible.

The Arizona Department of Transportation states that there were more than 5,600 total crashes involving alcohol-impaired drivers during the most recent reporting year of data on file. Out of these incidents, more than 3,600 individuals were injured, and 243 people lost their lives. Here, our Phoenix personal injury lawyers share some of the common signs of drunk driving so that you know what to look out for when keeping yourself and your loved ones safe.

Swerving on the Roadway

One major sign that a person may be drunk behind the wheel is a swerving vehicle. Vehicles may swerve in between two lanes, or they may swerve over the center line into another lane. Driving in a straight line becomes much more difficult when a person is impaired by alcohol.

Constant Slowing Down or Braking

Drunk drivers often overcompensate by braking too early when coming to a stop or driving much slower than the speed limit. Sometimes, drivers know that they are drunk, and they know that they should not be operating at higher speeds. In reality, drivers should not be behind the wheel, but they try to make up for their intoxication by driving “safely” and slower. 

Tailgating Others

Drivers impaired by alcohol may persistently follow other vehicles in front of them too closely. If you notice that a driver is consistently tailgating when they have other open lanes or open areas of traffic around them, this could be a sign that they are intoxicated.

Excessive Speed

Excessive amounts of alcohol lower inhibitions, which also can turn off the “safety valve” in a person’s head. Phoenix car accident lawyers have commonly seen individuals impaired by alcohol operate vehicles at extremely high rates of speed. Two of the most common causes of accident injuries and fatalities in Arizona are alcohol and speeding, the combination of which is deadly.

Major Driving Violations

Drivers may commit other major violations on the roadway if they are impaired by alcohol or drugs. This can include operating at night without headlights, failing to use turn signals, driving down the wrong way in traffic, failing to stop at a stop sign or stop light, and more.

What You Can Do

If you find yourself behind or around a driver that you suspect is drunk, there are various steps that you can take to help ensure your safety and perhaps improve the safety of others on the roadway.

  1. You need to keep your distance from the other vehicle. If you can remember as much as possible about the vehicle, including the model, make, and color, and maybe even the license plate, call 911 using a hands-free method or pull over and call. Try and let the dispatcher know the direction the vehicle was going the last time you saw it.
  2. Do not follow the vehicle. We cannot stress enough how important it is for you not to take matters into your own hands when following a suspected drunk driver. Let the police handle the situation with the information you have given.

Go in another direction. If you are worried about catching up to the drunk driver after you make your report to the police, see if there is another route you can take to get to your destination.