How to Avoid Drunk Driving Accidents During the Holidays
With many holidays occurring all year, there’s always a reason to get together and celebrate. Unfortunately, some festive occasions will prompt people to use alcohol, drugs, and other intoxicating substances before getting behind the wheel. Of course, driving under the influence greatly increases the possibility of getting into drunk-driving car accidents that severely and fatally injure someone. Many people travel by car during busy holiday seasons. Add intoxicated drivers to the scene, and the dangers only increase. Still, while the chance of getting into road accidents is a real one, it doesn’t mean a collision is inevitable. Below are a few tips to avoid drunk-driving accidents over the holidays.
Practice Safe Driving Behaviors and Make a Note When Others on the Road Don’t
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV)’s dashboard data, 318 crashes involving drugs and alcohol occurred in the state in 2022. FLHSMV also reports that 289 people perished in these car accidents. Some people might have noticed unsafe behaviors of impaired driving before the accidents occurred.If you see a motorist driving in a way that could put you or others in danger, keep a safe distance from them. You can take a different route or travel in a different lane far back from where the other car is traveling. Any of the following can occur as a result of intoxicated driving:
- Running through red lights or failing to stop at a stop sign
- Swerving or failing to drive in a straight line
- Following too closely behind other motorists
- Drifting off to the road’s shoulder
- Frequently hitting the brakes for no reason
- Driving in the wrong direction on a road or lane
- Bobbing and weaving across lanes or showing difficulty with staying in a lane
- Operating a vehicle at inconsistent speeds
- Nearly hitting objects in the road, including medians, curbs, traffic signage, barricades, etc.
Any motorist who drives in these ways and many others puts everyone, including themselves, at risk of having an accident. If you see an erratic driver, you can always park in a safe location and call law enforcement to report the vehicle. Make sure to note its make, model, and color and the motorist’s license plate number.
Avoid Driving Certain Times of the Day or Night
The time of day or night you travel can help avoid drunk driving car accidents. You can plan to go out on certain days or times of day during busy holiday periods, which typically see more people driving. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), on average, fatal car crashes frequently happened more during the weekends in 2021, peaking on Saturdays. Also, in 2021, nonfatal crashes occurred more on weekdays, peaking through Fridays during that year.
While the data do not show if these collisions involved alcohol or drugs, they do illustrate that fatal and nonfatal crashes occurred during the peak time: between 4 p.m. and 7:59 p.m. Peak crash periods, however, varied throughout the year. This means motorists keep in mind the time of year they travel on the road as part of their plan to stay safe and possibly avoid accidents. According to NSC’s data:
- Fatal crashes peaked between 8 p.m. and 11:59 p.m. in the spring and summer months.
- Nonfatal crashes peaked between noon to 3:59 p.m. earlier in the summer.
- Fatal crashes peaked between 4 p.m. to 7:59 p.m. from November to March.
Before you go out, you may want to consider the season you’re in, the time of day you’re going out, and who will share the road with you if you drive. If you anticipate traffic, crowded roadways, or motorists going to or coming from festivities that could involve alcoholic beverages, you can plan to leave earlier or later to ensure you are not on the road.
Know Before You Go: Make a Plan to Go to and Return From Your Destination Safely
If you or someone you know plans to have alcoholic drinks at a holiday event, create a plan that keeps you safe. This way, you can still enjoy your outing without risking a drunk-driving car accident. Before you head out to that summer barbecue or New Year’s Eve party, you can:
- Arrange for a rideshare, taxi, or car service to drive you to your destination and back.
- If riding with a friend, choose a designated driver who will not drink at the event.
- Stay overnight in a hotel, short-term rental, or a friend or family member’s home.
- Take public transportation.
- Give your car keys to someone you trust before you drink. This person should hold you accountable and not return your keys to you if they think you’ve had too much to drink.
What Happens If You Get Into a Drunk-Driving Car Accident Over the Holidays?
Once a drunk-driving car accident happens, things may never be the same. If you or a loved one is recovering from injuries from a collision that an impaired driver caused over the holidays (or any time of the year), a fort Myers car accident attorney from our law firm could seek financial compensation that covers your accident-related economic losses, such as your:
- Medical and rehabilitation expenses
- Lost income (past, present, and future)
- Lost earning ability if the accident means you can’t work in the same capacity
- Property damage (including repair or replacement of your vehicle)
Additionally, you could recover non-economic losses, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish and/or emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Impaired quality of life
- Wrongful death (if you lost a loved one in a drunk-driving car accident)
Our Florida car accident lawyer will review every loss you suffered from a drunk-driving accident and identify the liable parties who owe you damages. We will investigate your case, collect and examine all case-supporting evidence, and build a case to establish your insurance claim or lawsuit. We can take care of your entire case while you take time to heal from the accident.
Call The Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato Today for a Help With a Drunk-Driving Accident Over the Holidays
The holidays are a time to relax, celebrate, spend time with our loved ones, and do the things that fulfill us. Unfortunately, they can also be a time that some people make poor choices to drink and drive, putting themselves and others in harm’s way. As the NSC notes, holiday periods are a busy time for car trips, but everyone must put safety first to ensure everyone can enjoy the holidays. The Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato’s fort lauderdale car accident lawyers are ready to hold negligent parties responsible for reckless road behavior that harmed you or your loved one. Call the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato at (954) 633-8270 today for a free case evaluation.