You have no way of knowing what a nearby motorist is going to do at any given moment. You have the right, however, to reasonably expect those with whom you're sharing the road will adhere to all traffic laws and safety regulations. Every licensed driver in Ohio and beyond is legally obligated to do so. Sadly, not every licensed driver complies. In fact, some make highly irresponsible choices to drink and drive or otherwise act with negligence or recklessness behind the wheel.
You're at risk for serious injury because of another driver's disregard for safety. If this happens, there is no reason you should bear the full financial burden of expenses related to the incident, such as medical bills or lost wages from time off work during recovery. Drunk drivers often commit certain behaviors due to cognitive and physical impairment. If you notice suspicious driving behavior, it's best to try to safely distance yourself from the vehicle in question and to report the incident to 911 if you can.
Warning signs that suggest high risk for collision
In Ohio, the legal limit for operation of a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol is .08 percent. For commercial drivers or those under age 21, it is lower. The following list includes typical signs that a driver is drunk or has used drugs:
- A drunk driver often has trouble staying in his or her lane. A vehicle that is drifting over the yellow lane or too close to a curb is definitely a sign that the person at the wheel might be impaired.
- Acceleration and braking often pose difficulty for intoxicated drivers. Someone acting under the influence might randomly apply brakes or suddenly accelerate in patterns that do not match the current traffic flow.
- A vehicle traveling at night without headlights on is a definite sign that the driver might be drunk. Intoxicated patrons often leave bars or clubs and forget to turn on their headlights when they exit a parking lot.
- Many fatal drunk driving accidents involve wrong-way vehicles. Also, if you witness a car traveling in an area that is not designated for motor vehicles, it is a sign that the driver might be drugged or drunk.
Drunk drivers have trouble making turns. A driver who clips a curb on a bend or takes a turn too widely is definitely cause for suspicion. The problem is that even if you notice potential danger on the road, you might not have time to react. The sudden impact of a drunk driving collision can have life-long consequences.
Getting the help you need
The greatest priority after a crash has taken place is seeking medical attention. If your injuries are severe, you might need long-term assistance at home, from either loved ones or a licensed in-home care provider. In the most severe cases, injured victims are often unable to ever return to the workplace. Such situations often cause serious financial crises. This is why Ohio law allows a recovering victim to seek financial accountability against the drunk driver who caused his or her injuries.