Drunken drivers represent a serious threat on the roadways of British Columbia. Because of the significant impact alcohol has on a person’s reflexes and decision-making ability, drivers under the influence are far more likely to cause a crash.
Dealing with the aftermath of a collision with a drunken driver can be costly. The physical cost could be a lifetime of disability or pain. The emotional cost could include mental anguish long after the injuries heal. The financial cost of a crash is often very steep as well. These costs include bills for necessary medical treatment, car repair expenses, and other losses. A qualified car accident lawyer could assist you in pursuing a claim for this compensation.
In some cases, it could be possible to avoid a collision with a drunk driver. If you believe the motorist behind you is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, there are important steps to take to ensure you remain safe. We discuss those steps below.
Find a safe place to pull over or turn
If you believe the motorist behind you is intoxicated, it is important that you take quick but safe action. Identifying whether a driver is intoxicated is challenging, but some signs could include erratic driving, following too closely, and swaying across lanes. If you believe the motorist behind you is exhibiting those signs, it is in your best interest to avoid danger.
As soon as it is safe to do so, you should remove yourself from the drunk driver’s path and exit the roadway. Pulling over immediately is not always safe, however. If you are on a two-lane road with no shoulder, trying to stop could be far more dangerous than continuing onward.
While pulling over might work in an emergency, your best option is to find a street to turn right onto. Getting out of the path of the driver is critical in avoiding a crash.
Avoid following the driver
For many people, there is a sense of responsibility to follow the driver until police arrive. Some want to see the driver that put them in jeopardy face repercussions for their unwise and reckless decision to drive while under the influence. Other motorists follow a drunken driver out of concern for other motorists on the road. No matter your motivation, it is recommended that you do NOT follow a drunk driver.
Your first priority in this situation is to ensure the safety of you and anyone in your vehicle. You can only do that by steering clear of the driver. While being in the path of a drunken driver is dangerous, following closely behind them is not any safer. If the driver ends up involved in an accident or makes a sudden stop, you could strike them from behind.
What’s more, there is no way of knowing how the driver might react to being followed. If the drunk driver decides to confront you, the situation could turn violent.
Once you are out of harm’s way, the next step is to contact law enforcement. The police represent your best chance of keeping other motorists safe and ensuring the drunken driver faces consequences.
When you call the police, they will react quickly to track down the driver. They take these calls seriously, especially if multiple motorists call to warn of the same driver.
It is likely you will have your doubts on whether a driver is intoxicated or not. While you might have doubts about calling the police, it is best to notify law enforcement even if you are not 100 percent sure. If a driver is not intoxicated, law enforcement will allow them to go about their day. However, if the police determine the driver is drunk they will be able to take that person off the streets and keep them from endangering others.
When accidents happen, call a lawyer
Even if you follow all of the recommended safety protocols, there is no guarantee that an accident will be prevented. In some cases, a drunk driver will be so erratic that avoiding a crash is impossible. When these accidents happen, you have the right to file a claim for benefits with the ICBC. If your claim has been denied, an ICBC lawyer from Preszler Injury Lawyers could help you fight back. Call right away to set up a free consultation.