The holiday season is upon us, and it’s difficult to imagine a more magical time of year. While you no doubt have plenty of plans, including shopping, attending holiday parties, and visiting loved ones, it is important to recognize that drunk drivers are even more prevalent – and dangerous (due to increased traffic) – over the holidays. If you or someone you care about is injured by a drunk driver this holiday season, consult with an experienced Fargo personal injury attorney.
Drunk Driving: The Statistics
The U.S. Department of Transportation shares several significant statistics related to drunk driving and the holidays, including:
- Drunk drivers cause hundreds of fatal accidents every holiday season.
- In 2016 alone, 781 were killed in traffic accidents related to drunk driving.
- In the five years from 2011 to 2016, 300 people – on average – were killed in traffic accidents involving drunk driving each holiday season (the week from Christmas to New Year’s Day).
- More than a quarter of all traffic fatalities are drunk-driving related.
In other words, drunk driving is a problem all year long, but the problem is exacerbated over the holidays.
Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones
Drunk drivers pose serious threats on our roadways – especially during the holiday season – but there are things that you can do to help protect yourself and your family from harm, including:
- Never drink and drive yourself – if you’re heading to a holiday party in which you will likely be drinking, make alternate travel plans (hire a cab or uber, stay over, enlist a designated driver, or do whatever else it takes).
- If you know another driver is impaired, intercede – If you know that another driver shouldn’t be on the road, you often might want to get involved before he or she gets behind the wheel. You could help prevent a deadly accident.
- Take responsibility for your own guests – Make sure the guests who attend your own parties are either sober when they leave or that they leave with a sober driver.
- Always wear your seatbelt – Make sure everyone in your car is safely buckled up – every time. Your seatbelt is your first line of defense against dangerous drunk drivers.
- Report drunk drivers in your midst – If you spot a driver whom you believe is dangerously impaired, call the authorities as soon as it is safe to do so.
Identifying Dangerous Drunk Drivers
While drunk drivers are generally erratic drivers who engage in any number of dangerous driving behaviors, there are several such actions that are most closely associated with drunk driving, including:
- Weaving in and out of one’s lane
- Driving in the dark without headlights
- Driving on the wrong side of the road
- Failing to use driving signals
- Ignoring traffic signs, lights, and signals
- Driving far too slowly for the situation
- Employing one’s brakes erratically
- Driving in a manner that doesn’t make sense – stopping at a green light, for example
- Speeding excessively
Any of these actions alone is exceedingly dangerous, and when in combination, they are even more so. Add to this the fact that impaired drivers are less coordinated and less capable of safely controlling their vehicles, and you have a recipe for disaster.
If a Drunk Driver Leaves You Injured over the Holidays, Consult with an Experienced Fargo Personal Injury Attorney
Drunk drivers are dangerous drivers, and they are out there. The experienced personal injury attorneys at O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Attorneys in Fargo have the knowledge and dedication to skillfully advocate for your claim’s best possible resolution. Our formidable legal team is here to help, so please email one of our experienced personal injury attorneys – Tatum O’Brien, Tim O’Keeffe, or Sara Monson – or give us a call at 701-235-8000 or 877-235-8002 (toll-free) for