How to avoid drunk driving accidents on Illinois roads

Alcohol-related accidents are all too common, but people may avoid being involved in them by spotting and avoiding drunk drivers on the road.

Drunk driving accidents are all too common in Illinois, and frequently result in serious injuries or death for those involved. In fact, the state's Department of Transportation reported alcohol played a part in 33.2 percent of the fatal collisions that occurred across Illinois in 2013. While people may help protect themselves from such crashes by not drinking and driving, they cannot guarantee that others have done the same. However, there are things that motorists can do to avoid drunk driving accidents.

Spotting drunk drivers

In order to avoid alcohol-related wrecks, it is important for people to know how to spot drunk drivers. There are numerous signs that a motorist may be intoxicated. The Mothers Against Drunk Driving website points out that some of the most common of these include the following:

• Zig-zagging, weaving or swerving across the road

• Driving well below the speed limit

• Delayed reaction to traffic signals

• Making abrupt or illegal turns

• Accelerating or braking erratically

• Driving at night without the headlights on

Additionally, driving on the wrong side of the road or in areas not designated for automobiles may also signal that a driver is drunk. If people are able to spot intoxicated motorists, they may take action to avoid them on the road. This may help them avoid being involved in a collision which could result in serious or catastrophic injuries.

Avoiding drunk drivers

If people identify drivers that may be intoxicated, it is important that they avoid them in order to help prevent a possible auto accident. It is advisable that motorists do not attempt to pass potential drunk drivers. Rather, they should stay well behind them. Following an intoxicated motorist too closely could result in a crash if he or she stops abruptly. Drivers may consider taking a different route to get where they are headed if they notice a potentially drunk driver.

When people spot intoxicated drivers on the roads, they may feel like they should try to stop their vehicles. However, this is not recommended. Instead of attempting to confront or detain drunk drivers on their own, it is suggested that people call the authorities. Law enforcement officers may investigate the issue further and, if necessary, get the motorists off of the road.

Seeking legal guidance

When people in Illinois and elsewhere are involved in drunk driving accidents, they may suffer serious injuries. As a result, they may require extensive medical treatment, as well as time off of work to recover. For many, this leads to unexpected medical costs and lost wages which may make an already difficult situation all the more challenging. Depending on the circumstances, however, the drunk drivers may be held liable. Therefore, people who have been injured in alcohol-related collisions may benefit from working with a lawyer to learn more about their options for pursuing financial compensation.