Houston DWI Lawyers – Watch for Vigilance
Vigilance concerns a person’s ability to pay attention to a task or notice changes in surroundings. A driver whose vigilance has been impaired by alcohol might forget to turn on his or her headlights when required. Similarly, impaired drivers often forget to signal a turn or lane change, or their signal is inconsistent with their maneuver, for example, signaling left but turning right. Alcohol-impaired vigilance also results in motorists driving into opposing or crossing traffic and turning in front of oncoming vehicles with insufficient headway.
Alcohol-impaired vigilance also results in motorists driving into opposing or crossing traffic and turning in front of oncoming vehicles with insufficient headway.
Driving is a complex task that requires accurate information about surrounding traffic conditions. Failing to yield the right of way and driving the wrong way on a one way street are dangerous examples of vigilance problems. A driver whose vigilance has been impaired by alcohol also might respond more slowly than normal to a change in a traffic signal. For example, the vehicle might remain stopped for an unusually long period of time after the signal has turned green. Similarly, an impaired driver might be unusually slow to respond to an officer’s lights, siren, or hand signals. The most extreme DWI cue in the category of vigilance problems is to find a vehicle stopped in a lane for no apparent reason. Sometimes when you observe this behavior the driver will be just lost or confused, but more than half of the time the driver will be DWI—maybe even asleep at the wheel.
DWI – Poor Judgement
Operating a motor vehicle requires continuous decision making by the driver. Unfortunately, judgment abilities can be affected by even small amounts of alcohol. For example, alcohol impaired judgment can cause a driver to follow another vehicle too closely, providing an unsafe stopping distance. Alcohol-impaired judgment also can result in a driver taking risks or endangering others. If you observe a vehicle to make improper or unsafe lane changes, either frequently or abruptly or with apparent disregard for other vehicles, there is a good chance the driver’s judgment has been impaired by alcohol. Similarly, impaired judgment can cause a driver to turn improperly. For example, misjudgments about speed and the roadway can cause a driver to take a turn too fast or to make sudden corrections during the maneuver. These corrections can appear to the observer as jerky or sharp vehicle movements during the turn. Alcohol-impaired judgment can affect the full range of driver behaviors. For example, the research found that impaired drivers are less inhibited about making illegal turns than unimpaired drivers.
DWI – Illegal turning
Driving on other than the designated roadway is another cue exhibited by alcohol-impaired drivers. Examples include driving at the edge of the roadway, on the shoulder, off the roadway entirely, and straight through turn-only lanes. In some cases, impaired drivers stop inappropriately in response to an officer, either abruptly as if they had been startled or in an illegal or dangerous manner.
In fact, the research has shown that there is a good chance a driver is DWI if you observe the person exhibit any inappropriate or unusual behavior. Unusual behavior includes throwing something from the vehicle, drinking in the vehicle, urinating at the roadside, arguing with another motorist, or otherwise being disorderly. If you observe inappropriate or unusual behavior, there is a good probability that the driver is DWI.
The final cue is actually one or more of a set of indicators related to the personal behavior or appearance of a driver. These indicators include, gripping the steering wheel tightly, driving with one’s face close to the windshield, slouching in the seat, and staring straight ahead with eyes fixed. Some officers routinely scrutinize the faces of drivers in oncoming traffic, looking for the indicators of impairment. If you observe a driver who appears to be impaired, the research showed that there is an excellent probability that you are correct in your judgment.
Speak with a Reputable Houston DWI Accident Attorney
Gary S. Tucker & Associates
650 N. Sam Houston Pkwy. E., Suite 105
Houston, TX, 77060
Local: (281) 445-5777
Toll Free: (800) 275-5007