As 2019 wraps up, many people have warm feelings about friends and family and decide to take to the road for get-togethers. But we must also remember that this is the time of year to be most vigilant about drunk drivers.
AAA reports more than 100 million travelers are on the road going to see friends or family or traveling on vacation. And this combined with the vast increase in intoxicated drivers heightens the risk of alcohol-related crashes during the holidays.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drunk driving crashes increase substantially during this season. While about 31% of traffic fatalities involve at least one drunk driver, during the Christmas season that increases to 38%, and to 41% during New Year’s.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates there will be as many as 25,000 injuries involving drunk drivers during the holiday season. As a result, there will be 1,200 alcohol-related deaths.
That equates to about 300 people a day losing their lives in drunk-driving crashes during the holidays. Overall, DUI accidents cause about 10,000 fatalities throughout the year.
Tips for Staying Safe on the Roads
There are several ways you can take care to minimize auto accidents this holiday season.
If you will attend a holiday party, make plans ahead of time. Will there be drinking and are you expected to take part? Even an office party has a certain expectation that everyone will partake.
If this is the case, make sure you have a designated driver selected ahead of time. Do not rely on making that decision at the party when your good decision-making abilities may be compromised.
Also limit your intake to one drink per hour. Consume food at the same time to avoid alcohol hitting your system all at once.
Other safety tips include:
- Drive during
the day when possible. With 30% of fatal accidents involving alcohol taking
place at night, do as much shopping and trips to the grocery store during the
- Put Uber or
Lyft on your smart phone so you have a reliable way to make it home.
- Be able to
identify drunk drivers on the road. The signs may include swerving out of their
lanes, running red lights and stop signs, and driving erratically. Please stay clear of these cars.
- Be mindful
of getting in a car with someone who may be drinking and not realize his/her
level of intoxication. Once you are in the vehicle, you are a captive audience
with no exit possibilities.
- Know how
much is too much. For a 200 pound man, four drinks will usually send the blood
alcohol level into the intoxicated range. Understand that 5 ounces of wine is
considered a glass. If your wine glass holds 8 ounces and you have just two,
you are actually consuming the equivalent of three glasses of wine.
- Alcohol depresses
the central nervous system and that means it slows down your brain. You slow
down and so do your reactions. You may also not understand or appreciate your
level of intoxication.
drivers already have a higher rate of auto accidents due to their inexperience
and the use of electronic devices contributing to distracted driving. Make sure
your teens understand that alcohol and driving do not mix. Make sure you know
their schedule and make a plan for getting home safely. Discuss actions and
consequences and set a good example for your teens by exhibiting responsible
Your Mobile Alabama Law Firm
If you have been injured at the hands of an Alabama drunk driver, the law firm of Burns, Cunningham & Mackey, P.C., in Mobile will be by your side. We will use our resources to aggressively pursue your personal injury claim against the at-fault driver and obtain all of the compensation you need to return you to life as it was before the crash.
Please do not decide to negotiate with the insurer for the other side on your own. They will not be on your side and they do not represent your best interests. Our lawyers understand your legal rights and we promise to make sure you are professionally represented. We look forward to speaking to you at our Mobile office. Call 800- 574-4332 to schedule your free consultation.
Let’s end the year with good cheer and festivities that do not involve an auto accident.