Stay Safe This Saint Patrick’s Day
The luck of the Irish won’t prevent accidents, but responsible behavior just might. Saint Patrick’s Day is upon us, and for many people the holiday is a fun excuse to enjoy drinking with their friends. Unfortunately, that fun excuse can, and often does, lead to severe injuries both to yourself and to those around you.
Driving while intoxicated puts you and everyone on the road with you at incredible risk of serious injuries. Rates of car accident fatalities skyrocket during St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. But these days there are a number of convenient and responsible days to get to your next location, whether that be another place to have fun or home in order to get some rest.
The Effects of Alcohol
Driving while intoxicated increases your chance of getting into a serious accident. Alcohol and drugs have serious effects on our brains and can make even the simplest task far more difficult to perform. Substances can cause you to have:
Impaired vision: The people, vehicles, and objects around you can appear to be blurry when you’re drunk. It may be difficult to even tell what they are. This can also make it hard to tell how far away things are, and result in you not hitting your brakes in time. Ever wonder why so many drunk drivers drift onto the other side of the road? It’s because with blurred vision you can’t tell where it is!
Worse reaction time: This is probably one of the most significant impacts that drinking can have on your brain. The more you drink, the slower your reaction time becomes. Being under the legal BAC limit of .08 means that you will most likely retain your ability to react appropriately to cars, pedestrians, and objects that appear in front of you suddenly. When you are drunk, however, chances are high that you simply won’t brake or swerve in time to prevent a collision. The damage you can cause with an impaired reaction time and a vehicle is catastrophic.
Limited hand-eye and foot-eye coordination: Along with a worsened reaction time comes a limited ability to properly control your hands and feet. This can make it particularly hard for those driving while inebriated to control the steering wheel, as well as hit the proper pedal when attempting to break. Rather than stopping your car from hitting another vehicle, you may actually speed up, causing an even more severe collision.
Trouble concentrating: Being able to concentrate and make decisions requires brain power that is limited when you drink alcohol. That limitation can lead you to be unable to fully concentrate on what’s in the road ahead of you.
Safety is Key
Each of these alcohol-related side-effects leads to devastating accidents. Getting behind the wheel of a car when drunk means that you are putting your life and the lives of those around you at incredible risk. In fact, getting in that car may be the last decision you ever make.
That’s why we have some safety tips that we urge you to follow this St. Patrick’s Days.
Select a designated driver: St. Patrick’s Day, for many people, is about having fun and letting loose. It may seem impossible to find anyone to be your designated driver, but ask around. Not everyone enjoys drinking, and you may find a friend happy to help prevent drunk driving accidents.
Use a taxi or rideshare: If you can’t find a designated driver to get you from place to place, use a taxi or rideshare service. Their job is to drive responsibly and keep their customers’ safe while on the road.
Take public transit: Buses and trains are low-costs ways of getting around your town or city. Holidays may result in more crowded buses and changes in routes, but tweaking your party schedule is well worth avoiding a drunk driving accident.
Give someone your keys: If you don’t trust yourself to make the responsible decision, then ask someone else to instead. Hand your car keys over to a friend or family member to make sure that you won’t get behind the wheel drunk.
Report other drivers: No one wants to ruin someone else’s good time. Reporting someone for getting in their car drunk may feel mean or childish, but trust us, you could be saving that person’s life. If you notice a car is swerving too much, speeding irresponsibly, or colliding with guard rails and other objects, call 911. It’s likely that the driver is drunk, and they could end up causing a collision that takes lives.
At the end of the day, make the responsible decision. We at Breyer Law Offices, P.C. have seen time and time again what happens when people drive drunk. It leads to the devastation of not just individuals, but also their families and communities.
If you have been the victim of a drunk driving accident, don’t hesitate to reach out to The Husband and Wife Law Team. Call us at (602) 267-1280. We may be able to help you receive fair and deserved compensation.
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Confidentially reviewed by Attorney Mark Breyer