Drunken Driving accidents are preventable if people would only be responsible and considerate of others. Unfortunately, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over 10,000 people die each year in alcohol related crashes, accounting for a staggering 31% of all traffic deaths.
There is never any excuse for operating a vehicle while impaired or drunk, but we all know it is impossible to control the behavior of others. With the high incidence of drunk drivers on the road, what steps can you take to avoid being a victim? Although you will never be able to completely remove the risk drunk drivers cause on the roadways, there are several simple steps you can take to minimize your risk of becoming another statistic.
Avoid late night driving whenever possible
Avoid driving late at night whenever possible. The overwhelming majority of drunk driving related crashes and deaths occur at night. Most of these accidents occur very late at night or in the early AM hours.
In most states bars close around 2am. If you are driving at this time, be even more cautious and vigilant than usual. Look for any type of erratic driving behavior. Keep an eye on your surroundings while on the road to ensure your own safety during the late night hours as well as in daytime.
If you are out, always try to avoid driving on the roadways specifically between 2am-3am. If you are at a bar (being responsible of course) always leave well-before closing if possible. This is the time the highest percentage of drunk drivers will be on the road and is one of the most dangerous times to drive.
Be aware During The Holidays
Be aware that the holidays bring out a higher incidence of drunk drivers on the roads. New Year’s Eve is notorious for its record numbers of inebriated drivers on the roadways, so is the day before Thanksgiving.
Know the Warning Signs
If you must drive late at night on a regular basis make sure to always stay vigilant for impaired drivers and be prepared to take defensive driving action. There are several warning signs you can look for that may indicate if a driver is impaired. Watch out for erratic driving behavior: If you see a vehicle speeding up and slowing down for seemingly no reason, or weaving back and forth into different lanes, take action to distance yourself from the other vehicle.
Of course, always do this as safely as possible. If the erratic driver is in front of you, it is a good idea to slow down and stay behind the vehicle. Pull over as soon as you safely can and dial 911 to report the situation. Your action in reporting a possible drunk driver could save lives. Try to give the dispatcher the license plate number and make of the vehicle as well as its location.
If you follow these simple steps of avoiding driving late at night whenever possible, distancing yourself from potential drunk drivers, and remaining vigilant on the roadways, you will help reduce your risk of being wrongfully injured by a drunk driver.
This is a guest blog post from our attorney friends at Fellows Hymowitz in Rockland County, NY.
Daggett Shuler, Attorneys at Law, principal office is based at 2140 Country Club Road, Winston-Salem, NC 27104. The firm handles personal injury claims including serious injuries, automobile accidents, workers’ compensation and social security disability. If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of accident call Daggett Shuler for a free confidential consultation at 336-724-1234.
At Daggett Shuler, You Can Depend On Us.