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Menaces on Rhode Island Roads

Have you ever been driving down a highway in Rhode Island when suddenly you see a nearby vehicle veering across the centerline of traffic or drifting off the shoulder of the road? If so, then you understand how stressful it can be to try to navigate the flow of traffic while keeping your eye on a potentially problematic situation. That type of driving behavior is often a sign of a drunk driver in the vicinity.

Of course, not every car that travels a little bit out of its appropriate area has an intoxicated person behind the wheel; however, many do. While you can do your best to avoid a collision and take action to report the incident (if you can do so safely), even your greatest efforts might fall short, as many people injured in accidents caused by drunk drivers can attest.

How can you tell whether a driver might be under the influence of alcohol?

Just as police officers receive training to spot drivers operating vehicles under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you could learn what to look for to alert you to potential danger and possibly avoid disaster. The following list includes red flag signals that indicate that a motorist might have consumed alcohol before driving:

  • Signals and maneuvers don't match: If a driver uses a left turn signal, but turns right (or doesn't turn at all), it usually means the person driving isn't paying attention or isn't sober.
  • Speed too slow: If you're traveling on a highway where the posted speed limit is 60 miles per hour and you see a nearby motorist traveling 10 or more miles per hour under that, you have found a drunk driver.
  • Braking too often: If the brake lights of the car in front of you keep coming on without an obvious reason for it (meaning traffic flow does not necessitate it) this could indicate a drunk driver.
  • Near misses: If a car keeps almost hitting things, it's a definite signal that something isn't right, and all motorists in the area are at risk.

While other signals exist, these represent some of the most frequently reported signs. If you spot a drunk driver while traveling in Rhode Island, it's important to know what to do about it.

Be proactive

If you're able to take action without risking your own safety, or that of your passengers, reporting a possible drunk driver can sometimes save lives. Remembering these things might help at a moment's notice:

  • Steer clear: It's important to keep the problematic situation in sight while keeping your own vehicle a safe distance away from the possible drunk driver.
  • Don't pass: It's dangerous to try to pass a vehicle as it swerves all over the road. It's typically best to stay a safe distance behind so you have time to react in an urgent situation.
  • Record identifying data: If you can do so safely, it's a good idea to record a license plate number and any other information to identify a particular vehicle.
  • Call in a report: If an opportunity arises to do so safely, pull over and call 911.

If you've already been involved in a collision caused by another motorist's very poor choice to drink and drive, it's understandable you might be worried about how you'll cover medical expenses, replace lost wages (if you took time off work to recuperate) and alleviate any other financial strain associated with the accident.

A personal injury attorney understands the civil justice system and can guide you through the process of seeking compensation for damages in court.

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