It’s nearly Thanksgiving, and people all over the country are readying themselves for some much-needed time off work and getting together with friends and family. This is a time of year that many look forward to; the beginning of the holiday season. Still, every year around this time, a disproportionately high number of Americans lose their lives because of alcohol-related car accidents, and thousands of additional road users suffer serious life altering injuries.
According to a 10-year crash statistics study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day are some of the most deadly times of the year for in terms of fatal car accidents. Thanksgiving weekend is the most traveled holiday period of the year in the United States, with DUI arrests skyrocketing from this point until New Year’s weekend. In fact, during the holidays, the number of deaths resulting from accidents involving alcohol-impaired drivers has become so predictable that many state highway safety departments now issue pre-holiday fatality estimates, which prove to be all too accurate year-by-year.
What follows are a few tips from our Lawyers on how to stay safe and avoid drunk driving this Thanksgiving and holiday season:
Pick a Designated Driver BEFORE Anyone Starts Drinking-Thanksgiving Eve is known as ‘Black Wednesday’ due to it being the busiest night of the year for bars. When going to a bar or get together, taking a few minutes to make sure everyone in your group is on the same page will allow everyone to have a more enjoyable and worry-free night, and most importantly, it will ensure that each person gets home safely. Designate a sober driver to get you home, and make sure they understand their responsibilities. To be clear, the designated driver should not be the person that has consumed the least alcohol; a designated driver should abstain from alcohol for the entire night.
Give Up Your Keys to A Host or Someone Sober-Often, a person may believe that they are fine to drive even when others can clearly see otherwise. If you are at a friends house or a gathering, give your keys to someone who you can trust and tell them to return them only when they believe it is safe for you to operate your car.
Watch Out For Your Friends and Family Members-As the above tips have already pointed out, there is strength in numbers. Whether you are sober or you have been drinking, you can probably tell when a friend has had too many drinks to drive. If you see a friend attempt to drive home drunk, speak up and confront them about it. They may be angry for a night, but they will thank you for it later.
Drive Defensively-This is perhaps the most important tip of all; never assume that just because you are sober you are safe when on the road. There are thousands of inebriated drivers on the roads this time of year, so always be sure to drive defensively and be ready to react to the recklessness of someone else. Maintain a safe following distance and avoid any car driven by an individual who appears to be intoxicated. (BACTrack)
As personal injury lawyers, our legal team have years of collective experience dealing with just how car accidents and the damaging effects of drunk driving crashes. We hope that these tips will help you and your loved ones have a safer, more enjoyable holiday season!