The holidays are a time of year when families get together and old friends reunite. While it may be fun to have a few drinks with friends and family during the holidays, drunk driving accidents can cause lasting and permanent damage.
The Statistics on Holiday Drunk Driving Accidents
Far too often people end their day by driving home after having one too many. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), 134 people nationwide were killed in an alcohol-related crash over the Christmas holiday in 2012. This represented 37% of all traffic deaths, as opposed to the 31% average for the year. If a 6% percent increase wasn’t enough, over the New Year holiday, MADD reports that 140 people were killed in drunk driving accidents, an 8% increase. Given these startling numbers, it is important to know how to make sure you and your family stay safe this holiday season.
Tips to Prevent Drunk Driving Accidents
If you are having friends and family to your home this year, there are few steps you can take to prevent drunk driving accidents:
- Plan ahead and encourage guests to name a designated driver.
- Make sure you have the number of a taxi service handy for those who need a ride. Don’t be shy or hesitant. If a friend or family member looks like they need a ride home, call them a cab.
- Don’t let your guests mix their own drinks. Pick a reliable “bartender” who will serve all the drinks. This will help limit the number and strength of drinks each person consumes.
- Make sure you have the proper amount of alcohol on hand for your party is another good way to prevent drunk driving accidents. Don’t buy so much that you have alcohol left over after the party. Have just enough available so that the drinks run out an hour or an hour and a half before you expect people to leave. Remember, only time can make someone sober and this strategy will help make sure that happens.
Signs of Drunk Driving
Even if you are a responsible host, and your friends and family are responsible drinkers, it is still important to watch out for other drunk drivers on the road. But how do you recognize a drunk driver?
We all know the dead giveaways like swerving and drifting in and out of traffic lanes, but there are more subtle clues you can look for to help you stay safe. If a driver is slow to respond to changing traffic lights, with either a sudden stop or delayed start, that person may be impaired. Similarly, a driver going more than 10 mph under the speed limit may be acting overly cautious in order to avoid detection.
Keep these tips and tricks in mind as you plan parties and travel to the homes of loved ones this year and I’m sure your holidays will be merry and bright!
However, if you are injured in a car accident during the holiday season, regardless if you were hit by a drunk driver or not, it may benefit you to seek legal counsel. Lambert Zainey has been handling serious car accidents in New Orleans and throughout Louisiana for over 35 years. I will work hard to get you the best possible result and there are no fees unless Lambert Zainey recovers money on your behalf. To contact our New Orleans injury lawyers, please click here.
PS – In case you’re ever in a car accident, check out these tips for what to do after a car accident.