Many of us are all too familiar with the dangers of drunk driving, yet fatalities continue to occur each year. According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), almost 30 people in the United States die in drunk driving crashes every day.
Even if you are the safest motorist on the road, it’s still possible to get into an accident with an alcohol-impaired driver. This is especially important to be aware of during summer holidays like the 4th of July and Labor Day weekend. Americans love to celebrate with family, friends, and food. However, these festivities can quickly become dangerous when alcohol is involved.
For your safety, it’s important to recognize the signs of a drunk driver and know what to do if you are involved in a drunk driving accident.
Signs of a Drunk Driver
Typically around holidays, there will be more drunk drivers out on the road. Some of the signs you should watch for include:
Disobeying traffic signs
Swerving in and out of a lane
Changing lanes abruptly and without signaling
Be on the lookout for erratic driving behavior. If you notice a car displaying any of the signs mentioned above, you should keep your distance. If possible, you should pull over to the side of the road and report the driver to law enforcement. By sharing this information, you could prevent a serious accident from happening.
5 Critical Steps to Take After a Drunk Driving Accident
Call 911. Call the police and emergency medical services if necessary. It is vital that you report the incident to the authorities so that the officers can determine if the other driver is intoxicated. They will also take down an official report, which will be pertinent for your case down the road.
Avoid confrontation with the other driver. Your emotions may run high after the accident. Try not to engage with the other driver, especially if they are noticeably inebriated. He or she might act irrationally or violently due to the alcohol, putting you in a more dangerous position. If they attempt to leave, do not go after them. Instead, try to take photos of the driver, their vehicle, and license plate.
Document the accident. If you can, begin gathering evidence for your claim. Using your phone, take pictures of both vehicles, any damage, injuries, and any other factors that could have contributed to the accident. The more pictures you have, the better. If you can, get the name and contact information of the other driver.
Obtain witness statements. Speak to any witnesses who may be able to corroborate the intoxicated driver’s actions. Do not assume that the police officers identified all the parties on their list. It’s best to take extra precautions and take matters into your hands.
Seek medical treatment. If you were not taken to a hospital by ambulance, you should still see a doctor as soon as possible. They may be able to diagnose an injury that you have not yet noticed. Some internal injuries or minor injuries are not visible at first but get worse as time passes. Further, a documented doctor’s visit will help establish the severity of your personal injury claim, should you choose to file one.
Protecting the Rights of Drunk Driving Victims
Drunk driving accidents often hurt the victims the most, leaving them with substantial injuries and other problems. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury because of another person’s decision to drive while under the influence, you may be entitled to compensation. Our personal injury attorney at Mitchell & West, LLC is here to help you navigate your right to compensation during these difficult times.
Contact Mitchell & West, LLC at (305) 783-3301 if you have been injured by a drunk driver and require help seeking compensation.