The Holiday Season is Particularly Dangerous on the Roads
The holidays are a hectic time of year, from family gatherings and work parties to all the shopping that must get done. While the holidays are a time of cheer and joy for many of us, they can also be deadly. Data from the U.S. Department of Transportation shows that, on average, 300 people die in drunk driving crashes from Christmas to New Year’s Day. Unfortunately, fatalities from car accidents make up more than a quarter of all crash deaths. This may come as a surprise to some, but others know all too well how deadly drunk driving can be. With the high number of accidents and fatalities that occur over the holidays, it is the perfect time to raise awareness about the dangers of drunk driving.
December is National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month, 31 days wholly devoted to stopping people from getting behind the wheel after drinking or taking drugs. The holidays are a very festive time, and more people enjoy alcoholic beverages from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day than they do the rest of the year. Furthermore, this same period is considered the deadliest and most dangerous for drivers. In the United States, one person dies from drunk driving every 30 minutes.
We are going to dedicate today’s blog to National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month. Your safety matters to us during the holidays and throughout the rest of the year. No one expects to be involved in an accident of this nature, but unfortunately, it happens quite often. If you are involved in a drunk driving accident in Texas, contact Rad Law Firm today. We understand how stressful these types of accidents can be and will do everything we can to ensure justice is served. When attending holiday parties this year, make smart decisions and never get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking. Do your part to spread awareness about National Drunk and Drugged Prevention Month to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.
Drunk Driving Kills
According to the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, the days between Thanksgiving and the new year are the deadliest. This stretch is also the most dangerous for those on the roads because of drunk drivers. Sadly, more than 40,000 people die each year in drunk driving accidents, according to the National Safety Council.
December allows us to take a cold, hard look at drunk driving and the lives it claims. Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month (sometimes referred to as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month) has been recognized since 1981. The reason December was chosen is that it bears witness to so many deaths from drunk driving. Over the last 30+ years, numerous initiatives, programs, and materials have aimed to raise awareness about drunk driving and its repercussions. And while there are fewer alcohol-related accidents these days, it is still a significant problem in the United States.
Drunk Driving Statistics
Here are a few telling statistics about drunk driving:
- The U.S. Department of Transportation states that an average of 27 people die each day in December because of drunk driving accidents
- Drunk drivers cause nearly half (40 percent) of traffic deaths between Christmas and New Year’s
- In 2016, 781 people died in drunk driving accidents in December
- Between 2012 and 2016, 14,472 people died in traffic accidents in December
- Alcohol-related fatalities increased from 2016 to 2017
- Texas leads the nation in drunk driving fatalities
- In 2017, Texas was home to 910 fatal drunk driving accidents
- These accidents resulted in 1,024 deaths, 678 of which were the drivers
- People between the ages of 21 and 30 account for 37 percent of drunk driving fatalities
- In 2016, 2,300 Texans suffered disabling injuries from alcohol-impaired driving accidents
- The Texas city with the highest number of drunk driving crashes and deaths is Houston (72 in 2017)
- Dallas was second with 70 fatalities
These statistics are sobering and shed light on the dangerous repercussions of drunk driving. Because the number of alcohol and drug-related accidents increases during the holidays, it is more important than ever for you to make the right choice. Never get behind the wheel if you’ve been at a holiday party or gathering drinking.
Tips to Prevent Drunk and Drugged Driving
For National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month, we want to help you stay safe. The attorneys at Rad Law Firm know firsthand just how dangerous drunk driving is and ask you to join us in raising awareness. The more people that understand the potential fallout from drunk or drugged driving, the safer our roads will be.
The following tips are designed to help you avoid becoming another drunk driving statistic this holiday season:
- Designate a sober driver before you start drinking
- Consider using a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft to get to and from your destination
- Stay the night
- Educate young drivers about the dangers of drinking and driving
- Don’t let your friends drive drunk! Take their keys, stay persistent, or do whatever else you need to prevent them from driving while impaired
- Know your limits
- Pace yourself when imbibing at holiday parties
- Never get in a car with someone who has been drinking
- Never feel pressured to drink alcohol
How to Spot a Drunk Driver
There are numerous indications that a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, including:
- Inconsistent speed (slow, then fast, then back to slow, etc.)
- Stopping for no reason
- Driving the wrong way on a road
- Driving at a very slow speed
- Making wide turns
- Swerving, drifting, or weaving in and out of lanes
- Turning abruptly
- Driving with the headlights off
- Nearly hitting another vehicle or object
- Erratic braking
- Abrupt or illegal turns
Be safe on the roads this holiday season. Drunk driving is dangerous at any time of the year, especially right now. If you’ve been involved in an accident with a driver who was impaired, contact Rad Law Firm and schedule a free consultation. We are here to answer any questions you may have and ensure those responsible for the accident and any injuries are held accountable.