If you get behind a drunk driver, you should call the cops, but only if you can do it safely. That's one piece of common sense advice that Indiana State Police are giving as they get ready for extra patrols to keep you safe on Christmas Eve and Christmas.
"If you can safely call 911, if you have hands-free calling in your car, and you can do so safely and if you can give is a direction, a vehicle color, a plate number is great," said Capt. Dave Bursten, with the State Police, "do not jeopardize yourself by trying to take action, blocking off that impaired driver or following so closely that they take some evasive action and then you end up crashing into them."
Bursten said you should exercise common sense. Don't follow too closely. Don't assume someone at a four-way stop is going to stop, especially if the roads get slick.
"Drive like you're driving for everybody else. Be a defensive driver," he said.
He said you should even watch out if you're at an intersection and your light is green.
"You may have the green light but, if you run into the person that ran the red light, you're still in a crash."
Bursten said extra troopers will be on the highways, thanks to Operation C.A.R.E.
"Care is the Combined Accident Reduction Effort, and that's where we have our personnel that volunteer to work on their day off, or their Christmas Day off and work on extra patrols. This augments the personnel that we normally have out there," said Bursten.
State Police provided a list of driving tips they say you should read and follow, especially if we get snow, which is expected in some parts of the state.
"People tend to thing, something bad isn't going to happen to me. Well, bad things happen to everybody and there's examples all the time. So, what can we do to mitigate those bad things happening?"
Here's some common sense from State Police:
First: Wear your seatbelt.
When planning to travel, make sure you are well rested, as a fatigued driver is a dangerous driver.
Increase your following distance; remember the two-second rule.
Watch for slowed or stopped traffic when approaching construction zones
Leave a car length between you and the vehicle in front of you in stopped traffic. Watch approaching traffic in your mirror and be prepared to take evasive action.
Decrease your speed according to traffic and road conditions
Beware of bridges, overpasses and intersections where ice tends to form first during cold inclement weather.
Don’t use cruise control on slick roads.
Make sure everyone in your vehicle is properly restrained, including making sure Child Safety Seats are properly anchored and that children stay securely fastened in them.
DON’T BE DISTRACTED-Pull over and stop to use electronic devices.
DON’T DRIVE IMPAIRED-Have a designated driver.
MOVE OVER and SLOW DOWN for emergency and highway service vehicles.