Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) estimates that impaired individuals get behind the wheel of a car and drive more than 112 million times a year. They also report that someone is injured every 90 seconds in a drunk driving crash, and every three hours someone dies in a crash caused by an impaired driver. These are frightening statistics.
Despite your being a safe driver and obeying the traffic laws, there is a chance every time you head out the door that you could be injured by a drunk or impaired driver. As you might expect, the likelihood of encountering a drunk driver is almost five times higher at night than during the day, and there is evidence that the incidence of drunk driving increases during the holiday season. While research conducted over the past 40 years shows drunk driving rates have declined, each injury or death from an action that is preventable is one too many.
Here are some steps you can take to help protect yourself and others from being injured or killed in a drunk driving collision:
- Be aware of other drivers around you and back away from anyone who appears impaired. You may wish to call 9-1-1 and report the individual.
- Wear your seatbelt. Seatbelt use has been proven to save lives time and again.
- Commit to using a designated driver or calling a cab if you plan to drink alcoholic beverages.
- Don’t allow your friends to get behind the wheel if they appear to be impaired. It’s better to have them annoyed with you than have to attend their funeral.
- If you are hosting a party and will be serving alcohol, take steps to make sure your driving guests are not impaired. Keep a few extra blankets and pillows on hand, or the number for the cab company handy.
- Talk to your kids about drinking and driving. The age group of 21-24 year olds has the largest percentage of alcohol fatalities of any group. There are also far too many kids 16-20 who drive while intoxicated. As a parent, you don’t ever want to get that call.
If you are injured in any type of car crash caused by another person, you may feel angry; but when the person’s actions that caused the crash were preventable, it’s even harder to accept. If you have been injured by a drunk driver or a loved one has died in an alcohol-related crash in South Carolina, North Carolina, or Georgia, talk to the accident lawyers at the Solomon Law Group for free to learn your rights.