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Drunk driving is a big problem in New York

Whether you're new to New York or have been living here your whole life, if you're not used to driving in a major city or busy traffic region, doing so might be a highly stressful experience for you. Even if you're not behind the wheel but are traveling as a passenger in someone's car, if you're not used to state roadways, you might feel a bit anxious, especially if you witness a possible drunk driving incident.

There's good reason to be especially cautious and alert while traveling on New York highways if you notice a driver who is acting suspicious. If you're able to safely exit the roadway and report the driver to 911 dispatchers, they can send a patrol officer out to check on the situation. That's not always possible, however, and there may be little to nothing you can do to avoid a collision if a drunk driver is in your midst.

Make good choices

Alcohol affects every person's body differently. Perhaps, you are known for being able to "handle your liquor." Then again, you might count yourself among those who say they feel tipsy after one drink. Since no two people react exactly the same to alcohol in their bloodstream, it's up to each motorist to understand how his or her body reacts and to make responsible decisions regarding safe travel and legal operation of a motor vehicle.

Be aware of danger signs

Is there a vehicle near you veering left or right in its lane of traffic? This is often what happens to a driver who is texting at the wheel, but it is also one of the most common signs of drunk driving. Drunk drivers often forget to use their headlights at night as well, so if you notice a vehicle traveling after dusk without lights on, try to keep your distance from it.

When you're driving on a New York highway, you must keep your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. The problem is that, even if you are alert and cautious, you can't control another driver's actions. If you witness a driver tailgating, applying brakes at random times or traveling at a speed that doesn't match current traffic patterns, he or she may be acting under the influence of alcohol.

Additional alert issues

Drunk drivers often sit at the edge of their seats, gripping their steering wheels tightly and squinting as though they are trying to get as close to their windshields as possible. Alcohol causes depth perception impairment as well, which makes navigating turns quite difficult. If you see a driver taking a turn far too widely or clipping a curb on a tight bend, the driver might be drunk.

Recovering from a drunk driving collision

Preventing drunk driving collisions requires careful, well-informed, responsible decisions. Intoxicated people often fail in their duty to hand over their keys or secure alternative means of transportation, which places them and you, if you're sharing the roadway, at great risk for injury if a collision occurs.

Drunk driving is more than a traffic violation; it's a crime. If you suffer injuries because of another driver's reckless or negligent behavior, you should not have to bear the full financial burden associated with the incident, such as medical bills, vehicle repairs or lost income due to time off work. There are many support resources available to assist recovering accident victims, including legal advocates who can explain the options available to those who wish to seek justice.

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