Accidents resulting from drunk driving is a menace in Nigeria and the rest of the globe. To underscore the seriousness of alcohol-induced accidents is the fact that in some countries, someone dies of alcohol-impaired driving every 48 minutes.
Studies have also shown that one-third of all automobile accidents are caused by impaired driving. This further points to the fact while driving, one of the biggest dangers you need to be prepared for is drunk drivers.
No matter how disciplined you are behind the wheels, the decisions of a driver who has had too much to drink put your life at great risk. This, however, doesn’t mean you should stay off the road. Rather, there are ways to protect yourself from drunk drivers as we will highlight in this piece. Below are ways to protect yourself and your loved ones from drunk drivers in Nigeria:
Buckle Your Seatbelt
Your seatbelt is a vital element in your car and using it is the first way to protect yourself from drunk drivers. You might not be able to control the activities of impaired drivers while they are on the road, the seatbelt goes a long way in keeping you safe.
Always remember to buckle your seatbelt whenever you get behind the wheels. Over the years, it has a proven record of reducing the chances of you getting involved in a fatal car crash.
If you are not driving alone, always ensure all other occupants of the car fasten their seatbelts. Seatbelts will protect you and other occupants of the car from drunk drivers.
Maintain a Safe Following Distance
It’s okay to drive behind other vehicles while on the road but for the sake of protecting yourself from drunk drivers, you need to be more careful. To do this, you would need to stay back even further than you would normally drive. What this does is that it helps you notice the weird/erratic driving pattern of drunk drivers before he/she gets in your way.
The moment you notice a vehicle slowing down, repeatedly speeding up, trying to overtake other cars, swerving or driving strangely, you need to stay as far away as you can from such vehicles.
If it becomes necessary, turn off your car’s cruise control. You can go the extra mile of parking and contacting law/traffic law enforcement officials in order to remove the car and the driver from the road, especially if he/she is actually found to be driving under the influence of alcohol.
Be Super Cautious at Intersections
According to studies, drunk drivers are more prone to accidents at intersections and this is because they usually fail at obeying traffic signals and stop signs.
Whenever you drive through an intersection, strive not to be in a rush. Before you drive through intersections, you need to ensure that you look both ways (left and right) and yield to oncoming traffic.
Avoid Late-Night Driving
As much as you can, you should avoid driving late at night; especially on weekends when more drivers tend to indulge themselves in alcohol consumption.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that most accidents that involve drunk drivers occur late into the evenings or between 10pm and 5am. The chances of such incidents have a tendency to increase on weekends.
One way to protect yourself from drunk drivers is to avoid being on the road during hours when you know you are likely to encounter more drunk drivers than you would during other hours of the day
Holidays Come With Additional Risks
Holiday seasons are that time of the year when people tend to indulge themselves a bit more in the consumption of alcohol as they have fun and socialise.
The implication of this is that you are more likely to encounter drunk drivers during this time of the year.
Volunteer to be a Designated Driver
One proactive way to protect yourself from drunk drivers is by staying sober and volunteering to drive your friends/loved ones home, especially when you know they are likely to indulge in alcohol to the point of getting too drunk to be able to drive safely.
You should push to be more responsible by volunteering to be the designated driver in order to be able to keep yourself and the people you care about safe
Final Thoughts on Protecting Yourself From Drunk Drivers
Refusing to drive when you are under the influence of alcohol is the first step in protecting yourself from drunk drivers. Remember, you are drinking, don’t drive and if you need to drive, don’t drink.
Writer: Samod Biobaku
Published: August 28, 2020
Photo Credit: Cheki