With the holidays come a spike in highway injuries and fatalities. When you combine more people on the road, fatigue, holiday distractions, winter weather, and alcohol at holiday parties, the increased number of wrecks are not surprising. And while we would not go so far as to suggest that you should not have a glass of champagne to celebrate Christmas or New Year’s, you should not get behind the wheel if you have been drinking any alcoholic beverages.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around one out of three traffic fatalities throughout the United States involve a drunk driver. More than 10,000 Americans die in crashes with drunk drivers every year. Although Georgia is slightly below the national average for drunk driver fatal accidents, the Georgia Governor’s Office on Highway Safety reported an increase of 31 percent in alcohol-impaired driving fatalities from 2014 to 2015. In the state of Georgia, 87 more people lost their lives in an accident involving an impaired driver in 2015 than in 2014. Alcohol-related crashes resulted in 279 deaths in Georgia in 2014, and 366 lives lost in 2015.
How to Avoid Being a Victim of Drunk Driving During the Holidays
Do two things to get through the holidays safely:
- Do not drive after consuming alcohol
- Take precautions to avoid drunk drivers
Do Not Drive After Consuming Alcohol
Either pass on the alcoholic beverages or arrange for alternative transportation if you have been drinking.
- Arrange to stay overnight at a hotel or friend's house where you will be consuming alcohol
- Give your keys to a sober friend who will drive you home
- Take public transportation
- Call a taxi
- Use a ride-share service like Uber or Lyft
Take Precautions to Avoid Drunk Drivers
Dodging harm from others who choose to drink and drive is more of a challenge because you cannot always control what other people do. Here are a few tips:
- Do not get in the car with a driver who has been drinking.
- Avoid driving around areas with a lot of bars or restaurants where people may be drinking after consuming alcohol.
- Allow more space between your car and other vehicles, so you have more time to react to an impaired driver.
- Assume other drivers to be under the influence and stay focused on their behavior so that you can avoid a collision.
- Report impaired drivers you see on the road. You may save a life. You can call 911 or *477 to report a drunk driver in Georgia. If you can do so safely, note the car’s license plate number and the color, make, and model of the vehicle. Pull off the road in a safe location to place your call to law enforcement.
If you are the victim of a drunk driving accident, call the team at the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC today at 404-474-0804, and we will set up your free consultation.