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How to Recognize and Avoid Drunk Drivers this Holiday Season

The holiday season is the ideal time for celebration and indulgence. Unfortunately, some people take their celebrations too far, indulging in more eggnog than is wise. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, the number of drunk driving-related accidents and fatalities skyrockets, culminating with a 117 percent higher-than-average risk of being involved in a drunk driving accident on New Year’s Day.

At The Johnson Injury Firm, we’ve seen first-hand the devastating toll a drunk driving accident can take on a family. The holidays are a time to spend with family and friends, not lying in a hospital bed or mourning the loss of loved ones. We want to help you protect your family and friends by sharing tips on recognizing and avoiding drunk drivers this holiday season.

Recognizing Drunk Drivers

The first step in recognizing drunk drivers is understanding when these drivers are more likely to be on the roadways. The most dangerous days of the week for drunk driving accidents tend to be Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also shows that most drunk driving accidents occur between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. Over 55 percent of alcohol-impaired accidents happen between midnight and 3 a.m. Drunk driving is particularly prevalent around Christmas and especially New Year’s Eve/Day.

Other than the time of day or the day of the week, you can recognize drunk drivers by observing some of these tell-tale signs of impaired driving:

  • Swerving in and out of lanes
  • Erratic braking
  • Straddling the center line
  • Not yielding the right of way
  • Not using turn signals
  • Sudden, jerky movements
  • Driving in the dark without headlights
  • Running run lights or stop signs

Alcohol impairs judgment and slows reaction time. Impaired drivers often cannot maintain control of their vehicle and may not be able to adequately react to changing road conditions. It may also be challenging for these drivers to read and process traffic signs and signal information, causing them to run red lights, fail to yield the right way, or travel the wrong direction down a roadway. Drunk drivers can cause:

  • Head-on or wrong-way collisions
  • Rear-end accidents
  • Rollovers
  • T-bone accidents
  • Sideswipe accidents

Drunk driving accidents may be more severe than other car accidents because impaired drivers often do not attempt to stop, slow down, or otherwise avoid a collision until it is too late.  

How to Avoid Drunk Drivers

Now that you know when drunk drivers are more likely to be on the road, you can take proactive steps to protect yourself and your family from the catastrophic consequences of involvement in a drunk driving accident this holiday season. Avoiding a drunk driving accident means:

  • Designating a sober driver if you plan on attending a gathering and drinking.
  • Make alternative arrangements if you can’t rely on a designated driver. Stay at the host’s house or call a ridesharing service or taxi. You can find free sober ride services in many areas during the holidays.
  • Avoid driving during high-risk times.
  • Learn to recognize the signs of an impaired driver.
  • Maintain a safe distance from drivers you suspect are impaired by drugs or alcohol.
  • If you see a reckless driver on the road and suspect they are driving while impaired, contact local law enforcement.

Involved in an Accident with a Richmond Drunk Driver? Contact The Johnson Injury Firm Today

You can be the safest driver in Virginia, but is the motorist near you just as safe? If a drunk driver hits you this holiday season, seek legal advice immediately. The team at The Johnson Injury Firm is ready to help you recover the compensation you deserve. Let us review your case for free. Contact our Richmond office today by calling (804) 262-9000.

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