What You Need to Know About Drunk Drivers This Holiday Season
The holiday months are a season of family, friends, vacation, and good times. Unfortunately, there is always the risk of taking these good times too far and getting out on the road after one alcoholic beverage too many.
During the holiday season, we see significantly more drivers on the roads, rushing about to get last minute presents and preparations, or traveling across the state to visit family. The risk of an accident is generally higher when you factor in weather and the sheer amount of drivers out and about.
But when you add drunk driving to the situation, the odds can go up significantly higher.
At Ramos James Law, we want everyone to have a safe and fun holiday season. Below we have put together safety tips for traveling during this festive time. Of course, if you are involved in an accident involving a negligent or drunk driver, our Austin attorneys are here to protect you and fight for your rights.
Holiday Drunk Driving Statistics
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, hundreds of people die annually as a result of drunk drivers. Between 2012-2017, an average of 300 people died in drunk driving accidents during the week between Christmas and New Year.
Additionally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) noted that in 2016, over 3,000 people died in car crashes in December alone. Of those fatalities, 25 percent were a result of impaired driving.
The U.S. National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has also reported that 40% of traffic-related deaths during Christmas and New Year’s involve drunk drivers.
Safety Tips for Driving During the Holiday Season
You are likely to attend a number of family gathering and holiday parties in the upcoming months. This is reason enough to take all the precautions necessary to ensure your safety and that of other drivers out on the road.
As you are out and about, remember to follow these important safety tips:
- Always Drive the Speed Limit – You should always obey the speed limit, even more so during the holidays. There are far more drivers out on the road than any other time of the year and negligent driving – including speeding – can easily lead to a serious car accident.
- Shop During Slow Hours – To avoid all the hectic traffic and pedestrians that come with holiday shopping, it is best to plan your shopping trips when there are not as many people out. Weekdays and early mornings are typically the slowest time of day for department stores.
- If Traveling Far, Plan Ahead – If you are going to be taking a road trip during the holiday season make sure to:
- Have your car serviced before the trip, especially the tires.
- Know how to drive safely on rainy or icy roads.
- Plan your route in advance and have some alternate routes just in case.
- Give yourself enough time to get to your destination. Rushing can only lead to a tragedy.
- Always Buckle Up – In the event of an accident, your seatbelt could save your life or that of your loved ones. Whenever you get into your car, whether driving to the store or across the state, always make sure that everyone in the vehicle is properly buckled in.
- Avoid Distractions – Don’t let your electronics distract you from what’s happening on the road. The few seconds you spend staring at your phone can easily lead to a severe car accident.
- Never Drink and Drive – This is especially important during the holiday season. With more individuals out on the road, drunk driving can easily lead to a catastrophe. If you are going to be celebrating the holidays with alcoholic beverages, make sure you have a designated driver. If you do not have this option, please use a taxi service or on-demand such as Uber or Lyft.
Don’t let a drunk driving accident ruin your holidays. Let the experienced Austin attorney, Laura Ramos James, help you to get the justice and compensation your case deserves.
Even if you remain cautious and aware during the holiday season, there’s no guarantee that other drivers will be doing the same.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver contact Ramos James Law today for a free consultation.