Last month, a driver was leaving Austin around 2:00 in the morning, which would not normally create a deadly situation. However, this alleged drunk driver was traveling at approximately 100 miles per hour and collided with an 18-wheeler before smashing his car into a ditch. This drunk driving crash caused a separate semi-truck to swerve into the northbound lanes in order to avoid the debris in the road before catching fire. A third 18-wheeler failed to avoid the debris in the road and also caught fire.
Three of these drivers were transported to a nearby hospital. One driver died at the scene.
What to Do if You Spot a Drunk Driver on Austin Roads
Texas has the highest drunk driving rates in the country. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, drunk or impaired drivers cause more than 40 percent of all traffic deaths in Texas. Given that Downtown Austin has the most bars per capita than any other city in the U.S., it may be safe to assume that many of these traffic fatalities happen right here in the Live Music Capital of the World. However, there are ways to recognize and avoid drunk drivers on the road, including:
- Abnormal accelerating and braking patterns
- Not using headlights
- Using the wrong turn signal or not using a turn signal at all
- Stopping too far away from or over the line
- Too wide of turns, too sharp of turns or even hitting the curb
- Near misses with objects or other vehicles
If you see one of these signs or a combination of these signs, stay as far away from that vehicle as possible. It is important that you not attempt to pass the vehicle or engage the driver in any way. Instead, note the license plate number if you can, as well as the make, model and color of the car. However, make sure you are not putting yourself in a dangerous position to do so. Finally, pull over and call the Austin Police Department and give your location and your description of the car.