When you’re traveling in Oklahoma, whether by motor vehicle or on foot, you must adhere to traffic laws and safety regulations. However, you are not responsible for the behavior of drivers who may be sharing the road at the time. With the 2023 holiday season now underway, it’s important to be especially cautious and aware of drunk drivers.
While there’s no foolproof way to know if a particular driver has consumed alcohol before getting behind the wheel, there are several specific behaviors that are common among intoxicated motorists. Learning to identify these warning signs may help you avoid a collision.
Telltale signs of drunk drivers
Alcohol can not only impede cognitive abilities, including critical thinking skills and judgment, it can also impair muscle control and other physical conditions, such as vision. If there are drunk drivers in your midst on an Oklahoma roadway, you might notice one or more of these telltale signs:
- Vision impairment causes a driver to sideswipe parked vehicles or curbs.
- Inability to judge distance between vehicles causes a driver to randomly apply brakes or travel at speeds that do not match traffic flow.
- Delayed muscle response causes steering problems, such as veering in and out of a traffic lane.
- Impaired critical thinking skills causes behaviors such as driving at night without headlights.
- Alcohol-induced inhibition causes reckless behaviors like speeding or running a red light.
If you suspect intoxication from a nearby driver because of these or other behaviors, it’s always best to try to exit the road or create distance between your vehicle and the person who is driving erratically. This isn’t always possible to execute safely when there’s a lot of traffic traveling at high speeds.
Drunk drivers are responsible for nearly 30 deaths per day
In Oklahoma and throughout the country, approximately 28 people die each day because of drunk drivers. A motor vehicle collision can bring holiday joy to an abrupt halt, especially if you or a loved one suffer severe injuries. If your family must endure the loss of one of its members because of a drunk driver, not only this holiday season but all future holidays may be sorrowful.
Navigating recovery after a drunk driving collision
In addition to physical pain due to severe injuries and emotional trauma, drunk drivers who cause collisions also cause recovering victims’ financial distress. Dealing with medical bills, car repairs or, worse, funeral expenses during the holidays is enough to cause a catastrophic financial crisis in many cases.
Oklahoma law allows a recovering victim or immediate family member of a fatally injured victim to seek restitution in civil court. Doing so, of course, cannot alleviate the grief associated with a loved one’s death, but court-awarded compensation can help cover funeral expenses and other costs associated with a drunk driving collision.