Every time you get behind the wheel to drive in Illinois, you are entering unknown territory. There’s no way to predict what sort of circumstances might arise while you’re traveling by motor vehicle from one location to another. Some road trips might be uneventful if you’re lucky enough to have the road to yourself or there is very little traffic.

Even if there aren’t a lot of cars on the road at a particular moment in time, you may still be at great risk for injury if one of the cars that happens to be nearby has a drunk driver at the wheel. If you learn how to recognize the signs of a possibly intoxicated motorist, you can increase your chances of avoiding collision. However, no matter how cautious and alert you are, if another person is negligent or reckless, you might be in great danger.

Drunk drivers have trouble with depth perception

Taking turns far too widely or not wide enough is often one of the signs that a particular driver might be acting under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In fact, if you see a car clip a curb or come dangerously close to parked vehicles, other stationary objects or pedestrians as the driver navigates turns in the road, you’ll want to keep as much distance between you and that vehicle as possible.

Depth perception impairment also presents itself through tailgating or random application of brakes when a driver is having trouble accurately assessing distance between his or her vehicle and another.

Be on guard if you see a car weaving

People who text and drive often veer off the road while driving. You may also be witnessing a drunk driving incident if you see a vehicle drifting out of its lane or weaving back and forth in an erratic manner. Many drunk driving collisions happen when vehicles operated by intoxicated drivers careen into oncoming traffic.

If you can pull off the road without further placing yourself in harm’s way, it’s a good idea to do so. Reporting suspicious drivers by dialing 911 may help save lives, perhaps even your own. Dispatchers can send police out to locate a specific vehicle and make a traffic stop if warranted. To call in such a report, it helps to have a license number or vehicle color, type and other identification information.

If a collision occurs

Sadly, many drunk driving collisions result in serious or fatal injuries. Illinois accident victims and their families often experience intense frustration or anger when injuries that were preventable occur because someone makes an irresponsible choice to drink and drive. Accident victims may not only suffer physical injuries but emotional trauma and financial distress as well.

This is why Illinois law provides recourse through the civil justice system so that a recovering victim or family member of a deceased victim may seek legal and financial accountability against the person whose negligence caused damages.

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