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Are you sharing South Carolina roads with a drunk driver?

It's not your job to police South Carolina roadways, that is, unless you're a state patrol officer and are on duty. Like most other travelers, you are obligated to adhere to traffic laws and safety regulations while driving, but you are not responsible for the choices a person makes behind the wheel of another vehicle. It can be quite frustrating trying to navigate traffic when someone is riding your bumper or cutting in and out of lanes in an unsafe manner. It puts lives at risk.

While traveling, you might witness suspicious driving behavior. It often takes quick thinking to determine the best course of action to avoid potential danger. Certain types of driving behavior might signify that a driver is intoxicated, in which case you'd want to do anything you possibly (and safely) can to avoid collision. If a drunk driver hits you and you suffer injury, you'll likely need a lot of additional support.

Steer clear of drivers who do these things

Any number of concerning issues can arise while you're driving to or from work, to the store, dropping your kids off at school, or traveling to see friends and family. You may not always be able to avert collision, especially if the other motorist is exhibiting one or more of the driving behaviors included in the following list:

  • In addition to being highly annoying, tailgating can also be a sign that the driver behind you is drunk. Drunk drivers have trouble with depth perception and often follow too closely, sitting at the edge of their seats as though they're trying to get as close to their windshields as possible.
  • If any vehicle in your vicinity has wheels on both sides of the yellow line, it's a definite sign that the driver is either distracted or intoxicated.
  • Many drunk drivers forget to use their headlights when it's dark outside. Always be extra cautious if you're traveling after dusk and you notice another motorist driving without his or her headlights on.
  • If you estimate that a nearby vehicle is traveling 10 miles per hour or more below the posted speed limit, beware. The driver might be acting under the influence of alcohol.
  • Erratic braking and acceleration is also a sign that the person at the wheel might be impaired.
  • Drivers who have consumed alcohol often take turns far too widely or so tight that they clip a curb while rounding a bend.

Some of the things you can do to try avoid a collision include taking the nearest exit (even if it's not the one you want), using a wide shoulder of the road to pull off and call 911, or dropping back in traffic to create as much distance between your vehicle and the driver you suspect is intoxicated.

When that doesn't work or isn't possible

Odds are you have encountered drunk drivers in the past, even if you didn't know it at the time. You can't always get out of harm's way while you're traveling at highway speeds in traffic. If a person who is legally intoxicated causes a collision that leads to another person's injury, a South Carolina civil court judge can hold him or her financially accountable for damages if the victim files a personal injury lawsuit and can show evidence to substantiate his or her claim.

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West Columbia, SC 29169

Phone: 803-200-2937
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