Drunk driving car accidents are the only 100% preventable type of traffic accident. If people would only first think of their personal safety and the safety of others before getting behind the wheel while intoxicated, drunk driving accidents would disappear completely. Unfortunately, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 10,000 people are killed each year as a result of alcohol-related crashes. This accounts for an overwhelming 31% of all traffic deaths.
There is never any excuse for operating a vehicle while under the influence, but as we all know it is impossible to control the behavior of others. With the high occurrence of drunk drivers on the road, it is important to know what steps you can take to help avoid becoming another victim. Although you will never be able to completely remove the risk caused by drunk drivers completely, there are several simple steps you can take to minimize your risk of becoming yet another statistic.
Avoid Late Night Driving if Possible
Always try to avoid driving late at night whenever possible. The majority of drunk driving-related crashes and deaths occur at night. Most of these accidents occur very late at night or in the early morning hours before dawn.
In Oklahoma most bars close around 2 am. If you must drive at this time, be even more cautious and vigilant than usual. Keep an eye out for any type of erratic driving behavior. Stay alert of your surroundings while on the road to ensure your own safety during the late-night hours as well as in the early morning. If another driver’s behavior looks suspicious, don’t brush it off. Always maintain a safe distance from those who may be intoxicated.
If you must drive late at night and in the early morning hours, always try to avoid driving on the roadways specifically between 2 am-3 am. If you are at a bar (being responsible, of course) always leave well-before closing if possible. This is the time the highest percentage of drunk drivers will be on the road and is one of the most dangerous times to drive.
Holidays Pose an Additional Threat
Be aware that the holidays typically bring out a higher incidence of drunk drivers on the roads. New Year’s Eve is notorious for its record numbers of inebriated drivers on the roadways, so it is the day before Thanksgiving and the 4th of July. If you are driving during a holiday, always remain on the lookout for drunk drivers.
Watch for Warning Signs
If you must drive late at night on a regular basis make sure to always stay vigilant for drunk drivers, and make sure you are prepared to take defensive driving action. There are several warning signs you can look for that may indicate if a driver is impaired. Watch out for erratic driving behavior: If you see a vehicle speeding up and slowing down for seemingly no reason, or weaving back and forth into different lanes, take immediate action to distance yourself from the other vehicle.
Of course, always distance yourself from the other driver as safely as possible. If the erratic driver is in front of you, try to slow down and stay behind the vehicle. Pullover as soon as you safely can and dial 911 to report the situation. Your action in reporting a possible drunk driver could save lives down the road. Try to give the dispatcher the license plate number and make of the vehicle as well as its location if possible.
If you follow these simple steps of avoiding driving late at night whenever possible, distancing yourself from potential drunk drivers, and always remaining vigilant on the roadways, you will help reduce your risk of being wrongfully injured by a drunk driver.
If You Have Been Injured by a Drunk Driver
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in an accident that was not your fault call Graves McLain, the Tulsa Personal Injury Law Firm for a free confidential consultation at 918-359-6600. An experienced attorney will review your situation at no cost to you. We represent victims and their families in serious injury and death cases arising from medical mistakes, vehicle collisions, and other accidents.
At Graves McLain, You Can Depend on Us