The winter holidays are a popular time to gather with friends and family, host parties, travel to see loved ones—and drink plenty of alcohol.
Drunk driving accidents can happen at any time, but holiday parties plus icy, snowy weather are particularly dangerous. Between 2010 to 2018, drunk drivers caused over 6,000 accidents during the holiday seasons alone. About 667 fatal accidents occurred, on average, each year. Nearly a third of these fatal accidents occurred on highways, and a quarter occurred on local roads.
Even if you’re planning to stick close to home during the holiday season, it’s still important to watch out for drunk drivers.
Holiday driving safety tips
These safety tips will help keep you and others safe on the road:
- Stay alert: Drunk driving is dangerous, but drowsy and distracted driving have proven to be equally hazardous. Only drive when you are alert enough to be vigilant about potential hazards, and avoid using your cell phone. Pull over into a parking lot or other safe space if you’re too tired to drive.
- Use a designated driver: If you plan to drink at all, appoint a designated driver or call a rideshare service. Remember, buzzed driving is drunk driving, and it’s not worth the risk.
- Avoid driving at night when possible: Drunk driving accidents often occur at night. If you can avoid driving at night—and on holidays—that will lower your risk.
- Stay on the right side: If you notice a driver swerving or otherwise driving erratically, give them a wide berth. Stay on the right side of your lane whenever oncoming traffic approaches.
- Be cautious: Never assume that other drivers will do what they should or what it appears they intend to do (for example, when using a turn signal). Even sober drivers make mistakes, but drunk drivers have slower reaction times and may not proceed in a logical manner. Avoid tailgating, and wait for a driver to commit to an action before you react.
- Report drunk or erratic drivers: Finally, if you notice someone driving erratically, call 911 or local law enforcement. If you’re driving, use a hands-free device or pull over to call. If you can read the license plate number, that’s helpful—but even a car make, model, color and location can help law enforcement keep an eye out.
If you’re injured in a drunk driving accident, the Law Offices of Tim Misny can help you recover compensation for your injuries and more.
Call an Ohio car accident attorney today
The Law Offices of Tim Misny can help you with your car accident claim. If you or a loved one were injured due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call my office at (800) 556-4769 so that I can evaluate your case right away.