You cannot control another driver’s behavior nor are you responsible for it. When you get behind the wheel to drive in Texas or anywhere else, the only actions you are responsible for are your own, which must adhere to state traffic laws. It would be great if every driver were to have safety and caution in mind. However, this is often not the case, especially if you are sharing the road with a drunk driver.
Alcohol in the bloodstream can have a noticeable effect on driving ability. This is why Texas law prohibits driving if your blood alcohol content (BAC) level is .08 or higher. Even before BAC reaches that level, driving ability may be impaired. There are several things you might see a driver do that indicate intoxication and may mean that you are at risk for a collision.
A drunk driver becomes forgetful
When a driver has imbibed alcohol before getting behind the wheel, it might cause him or her to suffer brain fog or forgetfulness. This type of impairment might manifest itself in several ways, including those shown in the following list:
- Driving at night without use of headlights
- Random braking that does not align with traffic flow
- Turning without using signals
You might also notice a driver signaling right but turning left or vice versa if alcohol has begun to impair his or her driving ability. Consuming alcohol before driving also affects depth perception.
A drunk driver might think that your car is farther or closer than it is
Alcohol impedes depth perception, which can affect a driver’s judgment when gauging distance between vehicles. You might notice someone tailgating you or driving way too slowly because they think the vehicle in front of them is a lot closer than it is. You might also notice a driver having difficulty making turns, perhaps taking a bend too widely or clipping a curb while turning the wheel too sharply around a curve.
Navigating the aftermath of a drunk driving accident
If you notice erratic driving behavior, you might be able to create distance between your vehicle and the one in question. On a busy Texas highway, traveling at high speeds, it is not always possible to safely change lanes, take an exit or otherwise move away from a driver who is exhibiting signs of intoxication. If you get hit, the top priority is to obtain medical attention.
Texas is an at-fault state, which means that a driver who causes a collision is liable for damages, which may include medical expenses, property damage and other financial distress associated with the incident.