How does that song go? Oh, the driving outside is frightful…
I know, I know, you’ll say I’m a scrooge. But it’s just plain fact that holidays are full of celebrating. Celebrating is full of alcohol. Being full of alcohol can create all kinds of problems, like drunk driving accidents and angry assaults that cause serious injury to another human being. During the holidays, the community as a whole kind of relies on one another to make good decisions while they are celebrating, and some folks are definitely not keeping up their end of the bargain.
The U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) reports that alcohol-related traffic fatalities account for a full 40% of all traffic accidents between Christmas and New Year’s. It’s a dangerous time for drivers, passengers, and pedestrians, whether they have been drinking or not. Unfortunately, drunk driving accidents can often be more severe than accidents where the parties are all sober, largely because there are likely to be more dangerous factors at play.
Accidents where one driver is impaired by drugs or alcohol are aggravated by the poor decision-making of the person who is under the influence. Buoyed by alcohol, a driver may feel invincible, and make selfish, dangerous decisions to speed, ignore the rules of the road or traffic signals, or remain overly confident in their ability to drive despite his or her impaired state. Too often, the results are tragic, leaving individuals and families dealing with lifelong changes due to the loss of a loved one, traumatic brain injury, spinal injuries, paralysis, or other permanent medical conditions.
In Kentucky, Taxis and Designated Drivers Remain Common Options
The good news is that drivers don’t have to choose to drive after partying during the holidays. Taxis can be a good choice, especially if you find yourself without a sober friend to take you home. Usually a bartender or bouncer will even help you find the number of a service, but the safest bet is to always leave home with the number of an available driving service in your purse or wallet.
Designated drivers (DDs) have been promoted heavily since the late 1980s when Harvard’s Alcohol Project championed an initiative focused on the use of DDs. It was an effective push, with alcohol-related fatalities decreasing by nearly a quarter in the first four years. It’s important to be vigilant about the designated driver’s sobriety if you or your friends are going to be relying on a DD. The current-day reality is that many designated drivers actually do drink prior to driving friends and others home. Research shows this is the case for 40% of designated drivers. If you are using a designated driver, remember that NO amount of alcohol is safe for the person who is going to be getting behind the wheel. If your DD has been drinking, don’t take the risk—call a cab.
And if tragedy strikes this holiday or any other time, and you or loved ones are involved in a drunk driving accident, please call the car accident attorneys at Rhoads & Rhoads. We have served many clients in their times of need and understand your need to focus on grieving, healing, or both. Our job is to seek justice for the wrongs that were done to you and to ensure your family is not burdened by the financial realities of medical care, long-term and short-term. We can start the conversation today in a FREE initial consultation. Give us a call today at 888-709-9329—you won’t regret it.