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There are a lot of drunk drivers in Maryland

If you're one of many Maryland drivers who commute to and from work every day, you likely know what it's like to be in bumper-to-bumper traffic at 4 p.m. when all you really want is to get home for supper. In addition to congested roadways, there are many dangers lurking every time you get behind the wheel. In this state and most others, one of the greatest menaces to traveler safety is drunk driving.

Just because you drink a beer or glass of wine then drive a car, it doesn't necessarily mean you are breaking the law. As a licensed driver, you're obligated to adhere to all traffic laws and safety regulations and to make responsible choices regarding alcohol consumption. Not everyone does, however, which is why it pays to know the signs of drunk driving. It might help you avoid disaster.

Drunk drivers often do these things

You have no foolproof way of knowing if another motorist has consumed alcohol before getting behind the wheel. However, the following list includes common types of driving behavior that are often associated with driver intoxication:

  • Tailgating might not just be something that gets on your nerves. If someone is riding your bumper, be especially leery as this is a common sign of drunk driving.
  • Did the vehicle near you take a bend so wide that it almost hit you? Drunk drivers often have trouble navigating turns. 
  • If you notice a car on the road at night without headlights in use, there's a great chance the person behind the wheel is intoxicated. Forgetting to turn on headlights in the dark is one of the most common errors drunk drivers make.
  • The effects of alcohol on the brain often include cognitive dysfunction. A drunk driver might have trouble with depth perception, which can lead to random application of brakes or acceleration.

Other questionable driving behaviors suggest possible driver intoxication as well. If you witness a vehicle swerving in and out of its lane or coming dangerously close to parked cars or other objects on the side of the road, steer clear because the driver might be drunk.

If you're unable to avoid a collision

There might be little to nothing you can do to avoid disaster if a car comes barreling into your lane from the wrong direction. In fact, any number of traffic situations might place you in harm's way, making you vulnerable to collision and injury.

The recovery process can be long and arduous. Besides physical injury, there is often emotional trauma and financial distress associated with drunk driving collisions. Many Maryland accident victims seek recovery for the latter by filing personal injury claims in civil court.

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