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Beware the drunk drivers at your next South Carolina festival

Whether you live in South Carolina or travel to Myrtle Beach or other tourist locations in the state for vacation every year, chances are, you encounter traffic while you're here. There are certain times of year when there tends to be more vehicles on the road than others, such as when the annual motorcycle rallies or other public festivals take place. Whether you're a full-time resident or visitor, such festivals can be fun and memorable.

The problem is that not all memories are good ones. Rallies and festivals often include alcoholic beverages. Even if they don't, they tend to draw large crowds that increase the chances of a drunk driver crossing your path. If someone makes the irresponsible choice to drink and drive, your festival memories might include a trip to the hospital in an ambulance if his or her negligence causes a collision.

Stay alert and watch for signs of driver intoxication

The more vehicles on the road, the greater the importance of staying alert and focused on the task at hand at all times. The trouble is that you can only control your own driving behavior. What other people do is out of your control, which is why it helps to know how to recognize the signs of drunk driving. If you spot a potential danger on the road, you might be able to avoid disaster.

Issues that warrant immediate concern

It's not only important to pay close attention to traffic if you're behind the wheel of your own car. If you're attending a rally or festival, you might be a pedestrian, crossing roads or strolling about fairgrounds, which may include parking lots or areas close to traffic. In either situation, you may want to be on the lookout for drunk drivers who often exhibit certain behaviors at the wheel.

A driver who seems to be applying his or her brakes randomly might be intoxicated. The opposite is also cause for concern. If a driver is speeding up when he or she should be slowing down, it's a warning sign. Forgetting to use headlights after dusk is another common error drunk drivers often make. Veering out of a lane, idling too long after a traffic light turns green and tailgating are additional red flags. If you notice these other signs of danger, try to distance yourself from the driver in question.

When adventure turns into tragedy

You might have waited all year to go see your favorite band or attend an annual rally here in South Carolina. Drunk drivers are menaces to the road, and another person's negligence cannot only ruin your fun time, but can change your life forever if you suffer serious injuries in a collision. Even minor injuries can cause you to take time off work and experience financial distress due to medical expenses and other issues.

Many drunk drivers wind up facing criminal charges in court. A recovering accident victim may also be able to seek financial recovery for his or her losses by filing a legal claim against a drunk driver in civil court. If the worst happens and a drunk driving accident results in a fatality, surviving family members may seek compensation for their financial losses and justice in memory of his or her loved one.

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