At Impact Legal, our lawyers frequently work with victims of car accidents that involve drunk driving. In fact, drunk driving is a leading cause of deadly accidents in Arizona and New Mexico. During the holiday season, driving under the influence is especially prevalent. This week on the blog, we're discussing how to stay safe during the holiday season when drunk driving, statistically, increases.
If you've been a victim of an accident caused by a drunk driver, call our accident lawyers in AZ today. We provide free initial case reviews to our clients. To schedule one, please call or text 602-345-1818. Additionally, you can fill out our convenient online form, and we will reach out to you.
Drunk Driving By the Numbers
An analysis by MoneyGeek of data from the US Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) highlights scary information about driving under the influence. Throughout the United States, the analysis forecasts 8,555 DUI fatalities in 2021. The report estimates a danger index of 43% for this week (the week of Christmas). With the holiday being on the weekend this year, it's estimated to be more dangerous on the roads than usual. In general, 62% of drunk-driving-related fatalities occur on the weekend.
Once Santa has come and gone, don't let your guard down because the MoneyGeek report highlights New Year's Day as the most deadly day of the year with estimates that it will be 129% more dangerous than the average New Year's Day level of danger.
What's the Deal with Drunk Driving and the Holidays?
The holidays are dangerous for a few reasons. For one, the season brings more parties, which brings more alcohol. In fact, alcohol sales drastically increase from Thanksgiving to New Year. The Distilled Spirits Council reports that during this period, 25% of overall alcohol sales happen. More alcohol mixed with the increased stress that also comes with the holidays is a bad combination – from family to presents, shopping, traveling, and, recent COVID concerns, holiday stress is at an all-time high.
Additionally, the holidays bring breaks and vacations for many people. When people are in vacation mode, they are more likely to increase their drinking habits. Increased alcohol consumption is also met with increased travel. People are more likely to hit the road to visit family and friends during this time of year. It's been estimated that the average American travels over 200 miles during the holiday season.
Tips for Staying Safe This Holiday Season
Ringing in the holiday season comes with a lot of stressors, alcohol, traveling, etc. Here are a few helpful tips to keep yourself and your family safe as the hustle and bustle of the season continues to ramp up over the next couple of weeks:
- Don't Drink and Drive - Seriously, if you know you are going to drink, take an Uber, ask someone to drive you home, take the train, stay the night, walk. Whatever you have to do, make sure you don't get behind the wheel to make yourself and possibly others a part of the statistics.
- Plan Ahead - Make a plan to stay safe. If you're going to a party, know how you are going to get home. Choose someone to be a designated driver, make sure your Uber app is updated, call your parents, siblings, friends, or spouse to drive you home. Don't get to the end of the night and realize you're several drinks in with no idea how you're getting home.
- Wear Your Seatbelt - Seatbelts really do save lives. You aren't the only one to worry about during the holiday season. Hopefully, you choose to not drink and drive, but statistics show some people do not make that choice. Buckle up to give yourself some added protection in case you need it.
- Be a Good Host - If you're hosting a party, be cognizant of your guests' safety. Have food at the party, so your guests aren't drinking on empty stomachs. Make sure you know their plans to get home. Consider assigning a bartender who can keep track of the level of drinks consumed. Don't be afraid to say “no” if someone has had too much to drink – take their keys and call them an Uber or friend. The person may be angry, but doing so could save their lives.
- Handle Your Stress in Healthy Ways - Don't mask the stress with alcohol. While drinking in moderation to celebrate with friends and family is perfectly fine, drinking in excess to deal with stress only leads to bad decisions and regret. Try going for a run, going on an after-dinner stroll, taking the kids to the park, or taking a moment to yourself to do something your enjoy amid the craziness.
- Stay Home in Your Holiday PJs - If you can, just stay home and watch holiday movies around the fire with your family and friends. Have some holiday drinks while you're cozy and safe at home. Avoiding the hustling and bustling holiday traffic is a great way to ensure your safety this holiday season.
Consult an Accident Lawyer in AZ
If you have been in an accident, give us a call or text at 602-345-1818. Our experienced accident lawyers will review your case during a free consultation and advise you of any legal options you may have. Note that our lawyers are in New Mexico and Arizona. We provide consultations via video call or in-person. Our lawyers are skilled in representing people involved in semi-truck accidents, car accidents, motorcycle accidents, and more.
Happy holidays! We hope everyone has a wonderful and safe holiday season.