This time of year is usually associated with holiday festivities and celebrations. Did you know that December is also National Impaired Driving Prevention Month?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA),the month of December is one of the most dangerous for drunk and drugged driving incidents. That can be attributed to a few things: First, more people are on the road traveling to visit friends and family for the holidays. Second, more holiday parties means more drivers may be out drinking, possibly over-indulging, and then driving back home.
Drinking and driving widely accepted as a reckless practice. But, according to the facts, it may be more common than we may like. Three out of every ten Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related crash at some point during their lives, per the NHTSA. And according to the Center for Disease Control, nearly 30 people in the United States die each day in car accidents that involve an alcohol-impaired driver.
You know the dangers of drinking and driving yourself. But unfortunately, it can be nearly impossible to predict the behavior of other drivers, who may brave the roads while impaired anyway anyway, putting you at an increased risk that you have little control over. A momentary lapse in judgement on their behalf, in combination with dulled senses and a slowed response time, can be the perfect storm for an accidental collision, and, possibly, serious injury.
Some people may not think twice about drinking and driving. But when a driver behind the wheel has a blood alcohol level that's above the legal limit, he or she can be found to be acting negligently. Causing personal injury to another driver or pedestrian is a serious offense, and could warrant a law suit. Any way you look at it, it just isn't worth it.
The holidays are meant to be a time of celebration. At the Law Office of D. Hardison Wood, we want you and your loved ones to stay safe from drunk drivers during this dangerous time. Before leaving your house, we urge you to keep these important driving tips from the NHTSA in mind to help you stay safe:
1) Drive with increased caution. You always drive defensively, but now, it's even more important to anticipate the actions of other drivers as best as possible, giving yourself plenty of space and time to react.
2) Watch out for your family, friends, and peers. If you spot a car that seems to be moving erratically, and you suspect the driver could possibly be under the influence of alcohol, call local law enforcement to check the situation out. And if you're at a holiday party and you know your friends and family have been drinking, make sure they have a safe ride home before leaving.
3) Keep an eye out while walking, too. Pedestrians are also at risk from personal injury caused by drunk drivers. Be very alert when walking alongside busy streets. Walk facing traffic so you can see the cars that are approaching, and remain as aware as possible of the traffic behind you as well.
4) Closely monitor children walking near busy streets. You may be on the alert, but it's important to also keep an eye out for younger children, who may have less awareness of warning signs or what's going on around them.
5) Don't text or call while driving. Keep your eyes on the road so you can better anticipate the actions of other drivers. A few seconds warning could be the difference in a safe ride home and a potentially dangerous accident.
Those are just a few tips to keep in mind this time of year. Above all, be vigilant and be aware. The more on alert you are, the better you will be able to see and prevent dangerous situations from impacting you and your loved ones.
In the unfortunate event that you or a loved one is in an accident caused by an alcohol-impaired driver, you may be entitled to damages. Contact our legal team to learn more about your personal injury rights, and we can help you begin the process to ensure justice is met.