Holiday gatherings and parties are times when many adults drink a glass or two of wine or champagne or cup of eggnog to celebrate the occasion. For many people, enjoying the holidays with friends and family and drinking alcohol go hand-in-hand. Unfortunately, alcohol-related traffic accidents increase during the holidays. If you have been in an accident caused by an alcohol-impaired driving, consult with a Raleigh car accident lawyer about your claim as soon as possible.
Drunk Driving Statistics: What You Need to Know
Alcohol-impaired driving is a big problem in the state of North Carolina and across the United States. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that in the year 2013, 10,076 people were killed in alcohol-related accidents.
The cost of drunk driving is high. In addition to taking lives, drunk driving also takes a toll on the economy. In 2013, the amount of money that the U.S. economy lost as a result of drunk driving accidents totaled more than $49 billion. This money was lost in the costs of lost productivity, lost workforce, legal expenses, medical expenses, property damage, congestion, and more.
In North Carolina, the number of total traffic fatalities in 2013 in the state was 1,289. Tragically, nearly a third of all fatal accidents involved drivers with a BAC above .08 percent. These are fatal crashes that were preventable.
The Increased Risk of Drinking and Driving Over the Holidays
Drunk driving accidents are most likely to happen during the weekends. But during holiday periods, the risk of drinking and driving skyrockets. In fact, the U.S. Department of Transportation reported that in a recent year, the holiday season from December 13 through January 1 resulted in 830 lives lost in drunk driving crashes.
An article published in the Telegram states that Mothers Against Drunk Driving reports that approximately 52 percent of fatal collisions on Christmas and 57 percent on New Year’s are caused by alcohol-affected drivers. And one holiday season, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that nearly 25,000 people would be injured in drunk driving crashes.
In North Carolina, the problem of drunk drivers on the roads during holiday periods is very apparent. Data provided by the North Carolina Department of Transportation, Division of Motor Vehicles, illustrates the following facts about drunk driving during the holidays:
The high level of drunk driving-related accidents during the holidays is likely due to a combination of the fact there are more people on the road, leading to more traffic congestion, and the fact that most people attend parties or events where large amounts of alcohol are served during holiday periods.
Holiday Travel Safety
The best news about drunk driving accidents is that they are entirely preventable. In fact, there are easy steps that you can take to help protect yourself and others on the road. Some holiday travel safety tips are listed below.
Always plan your ride home in advance.
If you are going to a restaurant, a friend’s house, or a party where you know that alcohol will be served, plan your ride home in advance. This may mean that you plan to call a cab, or that another person in your party is designated as the sober driver.
Offer alcohol-free drinks at your own events.
If you will be hosting festive events this holiday season, make sure that you offer plenty of beverages that are alcohol free. This provides designated drivers a way to celebrate the season without having to worry about having one-too-many-to-drink.
Report drunk drivers on the road.
If you know of someone who is driving drunk, or if you suspect that a driver on the road is intoxicated, do everyone a favor by calling the police and reporting the driver immediately. Reporting a drunk driver can save your life, the life of another person, or the drunk driver’s life – do the right thing and report a drunk driver if you notice one.
Make a commitment today to never drive drunk.
The easiest thing that you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones is to make a commitment to never drive drunk or impaired by any substance.
Raleigh Drunk Driving Lawyers Can Help You after an Accident
You can take every safety precaution, but you cannot control the behavior of other drivers on the road. If you have been in a holiday car accident caused by a drunk driver, an experienced Raleigh drunk driving lawyer can help you understand your rights and options. At Hardison & Cochran, we will guide you through every step and represent you in dealings with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, gathering evidence related to your claim, and making sure that the full extent of your damages are considered when negotiating for a settlement.
Do not wait any longer to meet with us. The longer that you wait, the harder it can be to take meaningful action to recover compensation on your behalf. To schedule a free consultation with our attorneys today, call us at 800-434-8399 or fill out a contact form with your information on our website.