The Holidays Are Drunk Driving Season

Posted in Car Accident,Drunk Driving on December 16, 2019

Drunk driving accidentThe holidays are upon us, and that means cold weather, gift shopping, Christmas parties, and unfortunately, drunk drivers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that drunk driving is more prevalent during the holidays than at any other time of year. In fact, there were 285 drunk driving-related fatalities in 2018 alone around Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

Staying safe on the road during the holidays requires a two-pronged approach: making sure you don’t increase your own risks and the risks of others by getting behind the wheel while intoxicated, and knowing how to spot and avoid potentially impaired drivers. Police and state troopers in and around Nashville always increase their enforcement around the holidays, but they can’t catch every driver who’s over the limit, making it essential for drivers to uphold their responsibilities to keep roads safe.

If you or someone you love are injured in a drunk driving-related crash this holiday season, the Nashville car accident attorneys at Matt Hardin Law want to help. We’ve assisted injured victims after accidents that weren’t their fault for many years, and we have the experience and resources to build strong claims that get big results. Contact us today for a free consultation to find out how we can put our track record of success to work for you.

Tips for Getting Home Safely This Holiday Season

It’s no secret that alcohol is a common part of holiday gatherings, parties, and festivities. Family get-togethers and work celebrations alike often include beer, wine, and spirits, and it’s easy to go a little overboard and find yourself over the legal limit. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to get home safely without putting yourself and others at risk. They include:

  • Appoint a designated driver—If you’re traveling with a spouse, friends, or family members, appointing someone to be the designated driver before you even leave your driveway is a great way to ensure you’ll get home safely. After appointing a designated driver, make sure they understand the importance of abstaining from drinking any alcohol, as even one or two drinks can put some people over the limit. In addition, set a time for everyone to meet back up for the ride home to ensure that no one attempts to drive.
  • Use a taxi or rideshare service—Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft are fast and convenient ways to get home. However, some planning may need to go into using them, especially if you’re planning on heading home late at night or you’re leaving from a rural area. Both taxi companies and rideshare apps allow you to schedule pickups in advance, which means you won’t have to simply hope there are drivers in your area when you request a ride. When using a taxi or rideshare service, be careful entering and exiting the vehicle, and always wear your seatbelt.
  • Never ride with anyone who has been drinking—If you don’t have a safe ride home and are offered a ride by someone you know has been drinking, don’t take them up on the offer. Riding with an intoxicated driver is extremely risky, and their impaired judgment, delayed reaction times, and poor decision-making skills could result in a serious accident that injures themselves, you, other passengers, and other motorists on the road.

Above all else, never get behind the wheel when you’re impaired. Remember, in Tennessee the legal limit is 0.08% BAC, and the symptoms of intoxication are apparent among drivers long before they may feel drunk.

Stay Safe on the Road with These Tips

Worrying about how you’ll get home after get-togethers with alcohol is just one part of the equation when it comes to staying safe during the holidays. Other drivers also may be intoxicated, and knowing how to drive defensively to reduce your risks of a crash can go a long way towards improving your safety this Christmas and New Year’s.

While driving during the holidays, keep these tips in mind:

  • Avoid distractions—Drunk and impaired drivers can make sudden and erratic movements behind the wheel. If you’re not paying attention to the road, you may be unable to stop, slow down, or swerve to avoid a crash. Keep your eyes on the road, your hands on the wheel, and your mind on the task at hand.
  • Don’t drive late at night if possible—Roads are often more dangerous at night during the holiday season, as that’s when impaired drivers hit the road after leaving parties, restaurants, and bars. Avoiding the roads between the hours of 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. can help you reduce your risks.
  • Change lanes or take detours to get away from erratic drivers—If you notice a vehicle that’s swerving, speeding up or slowing down for no reason, or just generally moving erratically, there’s a chance the driver may be intoxicated. Move your vehicle away and consider reporting the vehicle to police using the non-emergency number.
  • Wait a moment before entering intersections—Drunk drivers make a lot of bad and dangerous decisions behind the wheel, but perhaps the riskiest behavior is running red lights and blowing through stop signs. If you’re stopped at an intersection and get a green light, don’t immediately pull forward. Wait a few moments and look both ways before accelerating.

In addition to these tips, it’s important to be prepared for the possibility of a crash. No matter how safe you are, there’s always a chance you’ll be involved in an accident, especially when drunk drivers are out and about. Be sure to always wear your seat belt, drive at or below the speed limit, and be ready to call 911 in the event of a crash.

We Help Injured Middle Tennesseans Get Compensation

There’s never a good time to be involved in a crash, but the holidays are particularly inconvenient. Not only are auto accidents painful, but they can also be expensive. If you were recently involved in a crash, you may need expensive medical treatments to get back on your feet, and you may be unable to work due to temporary or permanent disability.

Our lawyers want to help you get maximum compensation for what you’ve been through. Don’t pay out of pocket for an accident that wasn’t your fault. Let us calculate exactly how much you’re owed and fight to help you get it. Contact us today.