Signs that a Missouri driver might be intoxicated at the wheel

When you're traveling on a Missouri highway, you may feel nervous or even frightened if there's a lot of traffic and one or more drivers appear to be disregarding certain laws. For instance, it's never pleasant to share the road with someone who is tailgating you, or with someone whose speed is exceeding the posted limit. Such situations can be highly stressful.

Sadly, many of the worst collisions in this state and others often involve people who consumed alcohol before getting behind the wheel. Do you know how to recognize a possible drunk driver when you see one? Sometimes, you can recognize a potential problem on the road and react quickly enough to avoid collision. However, there's no guarantee of that because you might be in a situation where you can't change lanes or even hit your brakes. If a drunk driver hits you, you might suffer serious injuries.

Evidence that a driver might have been drinking

If another vehicle hits you and you suffer injury, a police officer might ask you what you can remember about the events leading up to the crash. If you noticed any of the behaviors on the following list, it is definitely a good idea to mention it:

  • Apparent trouble knowing when to use the gas pedal or the brake
  • Driving at night without headlights on
  • Taking a turn so tight that the vehicle clips the curb
  • Turning way too widely, perhaps even causing the car to veer into another lane
  • Driving with tires on both sides of a solid, yellow line
  • Not accelerating when a light is green
  • Not stopping when a light is red
  • Drifting from left to right within a lane
  • Going the wrong way on a one-way street
  • Traveling far under the posted speed limit

No one is perfect, and human beings can make mistakes. You yourself may be able to relate to having a car behind you beep because the light turned green and you didn't move. There's a big difference between a minor driving error and operating a motor vehicle when your blood alcohol content level exceeds the legal limit. The latter places all nearby travelers at risk for serious injury.

If someone hits you

You are not responsible for another driver's decisions or actions while driving. If you're with a loved one or a friend, and he or she has too much drink, you might be able to talk him or her into letting you drive home or, at least, to hand over the keys so you can call for a ride. There's no way, though, that you can keep every drunk driver off the road. If a driver hits you and you suffer injury, you might have to take time off work during recovery. 

On top of medical bills, losing wages can thrust you straight into a financial crisis, which is why Missouri law allows accident victims to seek financial recovery against drunk drivers.

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