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Traffic laws exist for a reason, and that reason is the safety of everyone on the road. By following the rules of the road, drivers can reduce their risk of a crash. Although most of us can ignore the fact that we are hurtling around at high speeds encased in a box of glass, polycarbonate and metal, some drivers get rude awakenings and reminders of the danger of driving when they wind up involved in a collision.

Since many people take their daily commute for granted as part of their life, they may not have the necessary safety focus to protect everyone on the road. Individuals can choose to engage in dangerous behaviors, such as driving while texting or driving after drinking, because they stop thinking of driving as the inherently dangerous activity it is.

Drivers engaging in these dangerous behaviors create an unsafe road situation for other people. They also risk criminal charges and civil liability for any wreck they contribute to with their behavior.

Impairment and distraction make people worse drivers

In order to maintain control of a vehicle and monitor your surroundings, you need to pay close attention to everything from the flow of traffic to the gauges inside your vehicle. You need to have your eyes focused on the task at hand and both hands on the wheel.

When the driver focuses on their cellphone or other passengers instead of the road, the result could be an otherwise preventable collision. Distracted driving is a known dangerous behavior. The same is certainly true for drivers who get behind the wheel after drinking. Alcohol can create an artificial sense of safety or confidence that can endanger other drivers and lead to poor decisions.

Drivers under the influence may not even realize how impaired they are, as that is one of the effects of alcohol intoxication. Alcohol can lead to anything from a driver going the wrong way on a one-way road to slowed reaction times that lead to a crash.

Make sure law enforcement officers know your suspicions after a dangerous crash

When you get in a crash caused by another driver, you are likely to carefully evaluate their behavior for signs of issues such as impairment. Drivers could stumble, slur their words or even try to get rid of evidence. Throwing bottles or frantically scrolling on their phone (perhaps to delete messages) could be red flags.

If you have any reason to suspect someone was on the phone at the time of the crash or under the influence, don’t assume law enforcement will discover that without your help. Make sure they know about your suspicions so that they can properly investigate. This will help provide a paper trail that will protect you if you have to go to court or file difficult insurance claims.