Impaired driving spikes during the holiday season.
Every December, the holiday season fills the air with anticipation and excitement. However, amidst the festivities and joy, some families are haunted by the memories of loved ones lost in impaired driving accidents.
These tragic car crashes are frequently fatal, yet they are entirely avoidable. December is National Impaired Driving Awareness Month, serving as an important reminder for everyone to prioritize responsibility and safety when getting behind the wheel of a car.
The dangers of drunk driving
Even in seemingly modest quantities, alcohol has the potential to significantly impair an individual's ability to drive safely. It not only clouds judgment and delays reaction times but also disrupts essential aspects of bodily control, such as coordination and concentration.
One dangerous aspect of alcohol consumption is the false sense of confidence it can instill in a person, leading them to believe they are driving effectively when, in reality, they pose a serious danger on the road.
As reported by The National Road Safety Foundation, in 2021, there were 13,384 traffic fatalities attributed to alcohol-impaired drivers, accounting for approximately one-third of all traffic fatalities in the United States.
While this issue persists throughout the year, the holiday season, particularly Christmas and New Year's, witnesses a disproportionate increase in drunk driving fatalities. In December alone of that same year, there were 1,013 deaths resulting from drunk driving accidents.
Stay safe and plan ahead
Ensuring safety during the holiday season is essential, and planning ahead is important to prevent drunk driving accidents. Take steps to protect Ohio families and make responsible choices by following these recommendations from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MAAD):
- Arrange a Sober Ride: Before your celebrations kick off, designate a sober driver who will remain alcohol-free throughout the evening to ensure a safe journey home for everyone.
- Use Alternative Transportation: Consider the various alternative transportation options available, including taxis, buses, or trains, which can provide a reliable and safe means of getting home.
- Use Rideshare Apps: Utilize rideshare apps like Uber or Lyft, which offer convenient and easily accessible transportation, especially when you're in no condition to drive.
- Host Responsibly: If you're hosting an event, demonstrate responsible hosting by offering non-alcoholic beverage options to your guests. "Mocktails" can provide a selection of non-alcoholic alternatives to traditional alcoholic drinks, ensuring everyone can enjoy themselves responsibly.
The dangers of drug-impaired driving
While alcohol-impaired driving is a well-recognized concern during the holidays, it's important to acknowledge that drug-impaired driving is another alarming issue that often accompanies alcohol-related accidents.
Unlike alcohol, which is more widely understood in the context of impaired driving, the effects of drug impairment can vary significantly depending on the type of substance involved. Drugs, whether prescription medications, over-the-counter remedies, or illegal substances, can impair a driver's:
- Judgment: Drugs can alter a driver's decision-making abilities, leading to poor choices on the road.
- Coordination: Impaired coordination can result in difficulties controlling the vehicle, leading to erratic or unpredictable driving behavior.
- Reaction Times: Slower reaction times can make it challenging to respond promptly to unexpected situations or hazards on the road.
- Concentration: Drug impairment can cause lapses in attention, increasing the risk of accidents.
- Alertness: Many drugs, especially those that induce drowsiness, can make drivers more prone to falling asleep at the wheel, further endangering road safety.
What to do if you get hit by an impaired driver in Cleveland
If you've been injured in a car accident caused by a drunk or impaired driver this holiday season, you have the right to seek compensation for your losses.
Unfortunately, securing compensation isn't always straightforward when dealing with insurance adjusters. Even when it is clear the other driver was at fault, insurance companies often try to pay crash victims less than what they deserve.
That's why it is crucial you have an experienced car accident attorney by your side to protect your rights and aggressively advocate for your best interests.
At Merriman Legal, LLC, our dedicated legal team is ready to support you throughout every step of the legal process. Don't delay. Contact us today for a free consultation to see how an experienced Cleveland car accident lawyer can help you demand justice and accountability.