Protect Yourself from Drunk Drivers: What You can Do

There are many ways to protect yourself from drunk drivers. Defensive driving can help save your life if faced with a drunk driver.

Avoid injury or death from such drivers by being on the lookout for anyone who appears impaired.


I.   Signs of Drunk Driving

II.  Drive Defensively

III. Do Not Do This

IV.  Protect Yourself

V.   Resources

I. Signs of drunk driving commonly include any of these.

    • Turning too wide.
    • Driving in the center of the road.
    • Looking drunk (face close to windshield, drinking in the vehicle, etc.).
    • Almost hitting an object.
    • Weaving.
    • Driving on other than a roadway.
    • Swerving or abruptly turning.
    • Turning suddenly or illegally.
    • Driving much too slowly.
    • Drifting.
    • Erratic braking.
    • Driving on wrong side of the road.
    • Signaling that is inconsistent with driving actions.
    • Slowly reacting to traffic signals.

II. Drive Defensively

If you suspect that a driver is impaired.

    • protect yourself from drunk driversBe ready to take quick, evasive action.
    • Keep your distance from the suspect vehicle.
    • If the car is headed directly toward you on a collision course, pull to the right, stop, honk your horn and flash your lights.
As quickly as possible, notify police by dialing 911 or *SP on cell phones.
    • Say that you want to report a suspected drunk driver.
    • Give the exact location (identify road and direction) of the vehicle.
    • Give a complete description of the vehicle. Such things as make, model, color, license number, etc.

III. Do Not

    • protect yourself from drunk driversAttempt to stop the vehicle.
    • Disregard any traffic signals.
    • Attempt to follow if the vehicle is speeding.
    • Follow the impaired driver too closely. The car may stop suddenly.
    • Get too focused on following the vehicle.
    • Attempt to detain the drunk driver if they stop.
    • Act in a capacity for which you are not trained.
    • Attempt to help an officer while they are apprehending a drunk driver unless requested.

You can protect yourself from drunk drivers.

IV. Protect yourself from drunk drivers

    • Don’t drink and drive and don’t ride with anyone who has had too much to drink.
    • Serve as a designated driver.
    • Always use a safety seat belt.
    • Use four-lane highways whenever possible.
    • Avoid rural roads.
    • Avoid travel after midnight (especially on Fridays and Saturdays).
    • Refer to safety ratings before buying your next vehicle. See Safety Ratings.
    • Never use illegal drugs. Using illicit drugs causes a large proportion of traffic deaths.
    • Never drive when fatigued.
    • Don’t use a car phone, put on make-up, comb your hair, or eat while driving.

V. Resources: Protect Yourself from Drunk Drivers