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Tips for avoiding drunk drivers

There are many steps people in New Jersey can take to protect themselves and other individuals from drunk drivers. These include recognizing drunk drivers, reporting them, driving defensively and avoiding times and places when people are more likely to be driving drunk.

A person may identify a drunk driver who is drinking behind the wheel, but there are other indications that someone may be under the influence. These include weaving, driving too slowly, driving on the wrong side of the road, stopping abruptly, inappropriate signals and slow reactions. A person who notices these and other dangerous actions should note as many identifying elements of the vehicle as possible, including the color, make, model and license number. These details, along with the driver's location, should be reported to law enforcement as soon as possible. An individual should not make an effort to follow or stop a drunk driver.

Drivers should take defensive steps if necessary. They should be prepared to react quickly and keep their distance from the car. If the driver is headed toward them, they should move to the right, stop the car and use their horn and lights. Staying off rural roads and four-lane highways and not driving after midnight may reduce the likelihood of encountering a drunk driver.

Car accidents that are caused by people who were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, fell asleep at the wheel or were distracted can lead to serious injuries. The insurance company of the driver who causes the accident is supposed to pay compensation to the injured people, but the process of obtaining compensation is not always straightforward. The responsible driver might be underinsured. For some injuries, such as whiplash and traumatic brain injury, symptoms might be delayed, and an insurance company might try to deny that the injury is linked to the accident.

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