Drunk drivers present a real danger on the road. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), drunk driving fatalities in Iowa represent 24 percent of all traffic deaths. If you suspect that a driver is operating while intoxicated, it’s important that you take action. Doing so could prevent a fatal car accident. Here’s what to do if you think you see a drunk driver:
Maintain a Safe Distance
A characteristic sign of a drunk driver is sporadic driving--weaving in and out of their lane, changing driving speed, etc. As such, maintaining a safe distance is incredibly important – a drunk driver may stop unexpectedly, speed, or swerve out of control, causing an accident. Keep a safe following distance, or change lanes so that the drunk driver can pass you. Never try to overtake a drunk driver or try to signal to him or her that s/he should pull over. Getting as far away from the driver as possible is in your best interest.
Report the Driver
If you believe that a driver is drunk and that they are an imminent hazard to themselves or others on the road, you should call 911. When speaking to the operator, you should provide all of the following information about the vehicle, to the extent possible:
- License plate number
- Precise location
Make sure that you’re pulled over to a safe area of the road before calling 911. Talking on a cell phone while driving is very distracting and dangerous. You can also call the local non-emergency police number to alert them of a suspected drunken driver. A driver doesn’t have to be blackout drunk to merit a phone call. Any alcohol-related driving concerns (alcohol mixed with drugs or someone who isn’t drunk but has consumed alcohol, which has fed his or her road rage) should be reported to the police.
What to Do if a Drunk Driver Causes an Accident
Unfortunately, even when you’re driving safely, if there’s a drunk driver on the road, you may be at risk of becoming a victim. If you’re in an accident that’s caused by a drunk driver, it’s important that you know what steps to take next. In addition to seeking medical care immediately for your injuries, you should also contact an attorney.
An Iowa car accident attorney can help you in the following ways:
- Gathering evidence
- Filing your claim
- Proving the fault of the drunk driver
- Negotiating a settlement amount that fully compensates you for your injuries
To learn more about why the team at Walker, Billingsley & Bair is the right choice to handle your car accident claim, contact us online or call us at (888) 435-9886 to set up a free case consultation.