Navigating the roads can sometimes be risky, especially when it comes to encountering drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Many serious accidents result from this challenging public health issue.

Protecting yourself from intoxicated drivers involves taking proactive measures to reduce the likelihood of accidents and stay safe on the road.

Remain vigilant

Maintain awareness of your surroundings when driving. Watch for signs of erratic behavior in other drivers, such as swerving, abrupt lane changes, or inconsistent speed. Intoxicated drivers may exhibit these behaviors, providing you with cues to stay cautious.

Keep a safe distance

Maintain an appropriate following distance from other vehicles, giving yourself ample time to react to sudden movements or unexpected behavior from drivers. This distance acts as a buffer and reduces the risk of collisions, especially if you suspect driver impairment.

Avoid late-night driving

Intoxicated driving incidents are more likely to occur late at night and into the early morning hours. If possible, stay off the road during these hours to reduce the risk of involvement in an accident. If you must drive at night, remain extra cautious and attentive.

Stay in familiar areas

Stick to well-lit and commonly used routes, especially at night. Avoid taking shortcuts or traveling off the beaten path. Familiar routes with proper lighting and traffic may offer a safer driving environment.

Report suspected drunk drivers

If you observe a driver exhibiting signs of impairment, report them to the appropriate authorities. Provide details such as the vehicle’s license plate number, color, make, and direction of travel. Reporting can help law enforcement intervene and prevent potential accidents.

Drive defensively

Practice defensive driving by anticipating the actions of other drivers. Be prepared to react quickly to unexpected situations. Do not assume that other drivers will always follow traffic rules. Defensive driving can help you navigate safely around potential hazards.

Plan alternative transportation

When attending social events or gatherings with alcohol (or other substances), plan alternative transportation options such as rideshare services, public transportation, or a designated driver. Do not drive after drinking alcohol or ingesting other substances.

Educate others

Spread awareness about the dangers of intoxicated driving among friends, family, and colleagues. Encourage responsible behavior and discourage impaired driving. Creating a culture of responsibility can contribute to safer roads for everyone.

According to the Department of Transportation, Wisconsin has a serious auto accident injury or fatality related to impaired driving about every two hours. By staying vigilant, reporting suspicious behavior, and making responsible choices, you can contribute to a safer driving environment for everyone on the road.