Drunk driving happens throughout year, but during the holiday season this dangerous habit increases exponentially, putting millions of responsible drivers, and their passengers, at risk. Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can seriously impede your ability to judge distances, see clearly, and make sound decisions, which makes a crash extremely likely. According to Michigan law, it is illegal for anyone to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08, or the driver will be charged with a DUI. Despite this law, hundreds of drunk driving accidents occur every December.
During the holiday season, people usually gather more frequently for Christmas parties, work events, and family get-togethers, which often involve drinking. Unfortunately, when drivers get behind the wheel after having a few too many drinks, they risk the safety of everyone else on the road.
Stay safe this holiday season and avoid drunk driving accidents by learning about the potential danger and finding out what you can do to prevent it from happening.
During the holiday season, people get together more often for gatherings and parties, and they may be more prone to travel to visit with family. As people take to the road more frequently, they are inevitably putting themselves at risk for a DUI accident. Even if you are a responsible, sober driver, you could still be injured simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), DUI accident fatalities make up more than a quarter of all car crash fatalities over the holiday season. One study found that, over the course of 5 years, an average of 300 people died in drunk driving accidents during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Even though the last week in December seems to be the most dangerous, the entire month sees a huge increase in fatal car accidents. Throughout December of 2016, 781 people died in drunk driving accidents.
Even though the holiday season is supposed to be a time to celebrate and spend time with family, all too many people end up mourning the loss of a loved one instead. To help prevent DUI accidents from occurring, make a point to avoid driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Always appoint a designated sober driver, secure a ride from a taxi or rideshare app, or ask a sober friend to give you a lift. Even if you are being responsible about driving sober, make sure those around you are as well. Never let a friend get behind the wheel while intoxicated, and do what you can to offer people a safe ride home when they’re in need. If you are hosting a holiday party, take away your guests’ keys at the beginning of the night to encourage accountability.
Drunk driving accidents aren’t always avoidable, but there are a few things you can do to decrease your chance of being involved in a DUI accident. First of all, avoid driving late at night. Drunk drivers are more likely to take to the roads at night after they’ve spent time at a party, bar, or restaurant, which makes nighttime drivers more susceptible to DUI accidents. If you do have to drive at night, be on guard and keep a watchful eye on your surroundings.
Also, avoid heavily trafficked areas, if you can help it, and try to stay off the road during the busiest travel days. Most people drive right before and after the holidays, so some of the busiest driving days fall on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, the morning of New Year’s Eve, and the day before Christmas. You’re more likely to get into an accident with a drunk driver when there are more vehicles on the road, so check traffic reports before you go and plan ahead as much as you can.
Unfortunately, there is only so much you can do to protect yourself from a drunk driving accident. If you or someone you love was injured in a DUI accident, you need to act fast to build your personal injury case. The drunk driver should be held responsible for the damage they caused, and you have every right to seek maximum compensation for the pain and suffering you’ve endured. In Michigan, you can seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit, a dram shop lawsuit, a no-fault insurance lawsuit, or a wrongful death lawsuit, depending on the circumstances of your accident.
Contact Goodman Acker P.C. today to get started on your Detroit personal injury or wrongful death case.
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