The most obvious way to prevent getting into a DUI accident is to make sure you haven’t been drinking when you get behind the wheel. But that doesn’t mean you’re safe if you’re a sober driver.
You can still get into an accident due to someone else’s careless driving behavior. In 2020, 2,114 people were injured and 963 people were killed in DUI accidents in Laredo, Texas alone.
Here are five ways to reduce your chances of getting into a DUI accident when you’re sharing the road with others who have potentially had too much to drink.
Get Home Before Midnight
The old saying “Nothing good happens after midnight” definitely applies to drunk driving. The highest number of fatal crashes happen between midnight and 3 a.m. Try to get home before midnight whenever possible to reduce your chances of getting into a fatal car accident.
It’s also true that fewer fatal accidents happen during daylight hours compared to after dark. If you’re running errands or otherwise need to be out and about, it’s safer to get everything done before the sun goes down whenever possible.
Know the Most Dangerous Days For Drunk Drivers
Not only are there times when driving is more dangerous, but there are also days when driving is more dangerous too.
Friday and Saturday nights have more drunk drivers, but holidays are especially dangerous in regards to drunk driving. The most dangerous include:
- The time between Christmas and New Year’s Day
- Thanksgiving Day
- Memorial Day weekend
- Labor Day weekend
- The week of the Fourth of July
The summer is a dangerous time to drive too. Labeled as the “100 deadliest days of summer,” the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day has more fatal crashes than other times during the year. That’s because teens are on the road, but the warmer weather also coaxes more people out of the house, and all those activities are often accompanied by alcohol.
That doesn’t mean you have to avoid driving altogether. It just means you might want to exercise a little bit more caution if you find yourself on the road when there’s likely to be more drunk drivers behind the wheel.
Keep Your Distance From Other Cars on the Road
It’s a good idea to follow the 3-second-rule when you’re on the road, but if you’re driving late at night, if you’re driving on a weekend, or if you’re on the road on a holiday, it’s a good idea to increase your distance even more.
Keeping your distance means driving further behind other drivers, but it may also mean getting around them. If someone is driving extremely slowly, or if they can’t seem to stay in their lane, you may want to pass them as quickly and safely as possible. The more distance you put between you and them, the safer you’ll be.
Exercise Extreme Caution When Driving Through Intersections
Drunk drivers are bad drivers, no matter where you come upon them on the road, but they are especially bad when it comes to intersections. It’s normal for drunk drivers to run a red light or go out of turn at a stop sign.
Be extra cautious when driving through intersections if you’re driving when drunk drivers are likely to be on the road. Don’t assume the other driver will follow the rules. It’s much better to slow down, look both ways, and move through intersections cautiously, even if you have a green light, than it is to end up getting t-boned by a drunk driver.
Call In Suspicious Driving Behavior
You may be lucky enough to make it home after you have shared the road with a drunk driver, but someone else may not be. Don’t be afraid to call in another driver if they are driving suspiciously on the road.
Drunk driving behaviors that should be reported include cars that:
- Swerve, drive on the lines, or drift toward the side of the road
- Are driving way below or above the speed limit
- Have trouble stopping at stop signs and stop lights
- Drive suspiciously, like driving with their headlights off and using the incorrect turn signal
Just make sure you pull over to the side of the road before you make the call. It’s not your job to follow the other car. You don’t want to cause an accident of your own by trying to use your phone while driving.
You know not to drive drunk, but that doesn’t mean everyone else does. Follow the tips on this list and you can reduce your chances of getting into a DUI accident, even if you have to share the road with a drunk driver.