Staying Safe on New Year’s Eve
New Year’s Eve is one of the worst times of the year for drunk driving accidents. January 1st can be just as bad, when people who still have alcohol in their systems get behind the wheel of a car without realizing they are still intoxicated. If you drink on New Year’s Eve, after getting a ride home with a sober driver, the best plan may be to stay at home and rest to avoid driving alcohol impaired.
How Big Is the Problem of Drunk Driving Traffic Accidents?
In the most recent year for which statistics are available, drunk driving killed more than 10,000 people in the U.S., as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Someone is killed by alcohol-impaired driving every 52 minutes. Alcohol involvement in fatal motor vehicle accidents peaks in the nighttime hours, as stated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). In a recent year, between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., 49% of fatally injured passenger vehicle drivers had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above .08%.
What Can You Do to Stay Safe If You Plan to Go Out On New Year’s Eve?
New Year’s Eve is a risky night for drunk driving accidents. Take steps to keep yourself and your friends safe:
- Do not drive if you have been drinking. Designate a sober driver in your group, take a cab, or call for an Uber or Lyft ride.
- Never get in a car with a driver who has been drinking.
- Do not let anyone who has been drinking get behind the wheel of a car. Remain calm, suggest alternatives, and take the impaired person’s keys away. If you are unable to do so, call the police.
- Call law enforcement if you see a vehicle on the road with a driver who appears to be intoxicated.
How Can You Increase Safety When Driving Around Drunk Drivers?
No matter how conscientious you are on New Year’s Eve, it is not possible to control the actions of other drivers on the road. You may encounter a drunk driver who is swerving, weaving, drifting between lanes, speeding, starting or stopping suddenly, pausing too long at stops, or passing out at the wheel. If this happens, take steps to protect yourself and others on the road:
- Slow down to increase the distance between yourself and the drunk driver. Allow plenty of room to give yourself time to react in a dangerous situation.
- Do not trust a drunk driver to stop or yield the right-of-way at an intersection. Come to a complete stop and let the drunk driver proceed through the intersection first.
- Call 911 to report the situation, once you are a safe distance away from the intoxicated driver. Pull over to make the call. Give the operator the drunk driver’s license plate number and a description of the vehicle.
- Pull over in a safe location if you cannot get away from the drunk driver. This may help prevent a collision.
- Do not engage with a drunk driver. Intoxicated people can be violent and unpredictable. Keep your distance and call the police.
What Should You Do If You Have Been Hit By a Drunk Driver?
Despite the precautions other drivers take, drunk drivers can cause accidents. If you have been hit by a drunk driver, call the police, gather as much information as possible at the scene of the accident, take pictures, get medical attention for your injuries, and speak with an experienced Phoenix personal injury attorney as soon as possible. At The Husband and Wife Law Team, we handle only injury and wrongful death. Call us at (602) 457-6222 to find out how we can help.
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