New Year's Eve: A Dangerous Time for Drunk Driving Accidents
Drunk Driving Accidents in 2023
New Year's Eve is a time for celebration with family and friends, but it is also a time when the risk of being involved in a drunk driving accident is higher than on a typical day. This is especially true in Atlanta and surrounding areas, where data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) shows that January 1st is "the deadliest day on average for alcohol-related crashes" in the United States.
The National Safety Council (NSC) notes that many people who travel for New Year's Day do so by car, which is the mode of transportation with the highest fatality rate per passenger mile. Given the increased alcohol consumption that often occurs during New Year's Eve celebrations, it is not surprising that drunk driving accidents are significantly more likely to occur in the hours that follow.
To stay safe on New Year's Eve, it is crucial to secure alternative transportation, such as an Uber or designated driver, if you plan to drink. If you are not drinking, be vigilant about the actions of other drivers if you go out on the road.
Is It Dangerous To Drive On New Year's Eve?
While traffic is generally lighter on New Year's Eve because many people are off work and out of school, the risk of being involved in a crash is still higher than on a typical day. It is difficult to predict how alcohol consumption will impact the holiday season in 2020, but past projections for holiday accidents, injuries, and fatalities by the National Safety Council have been in line with outcomes.
To stay safe on New Year's Eve, it is important to be aware of the dangers of drunk driving. Here are some statistics to keep in mind:
- January 1st is the worst time for drunk driving and accidents caused by drunk drivers.
- Those suffering from hangovers may drive without realizing that they are still considered drunk if stopped by police.
- January 1st has even topped the 4th of July in terms of drunk driving arrests.
- An average person can metabolize one standard drink per hour. This includes a 12 oz. beer, a 5 oz. glass of wine or a 1.5 oz. shot.
- Every day, 28 people in the US die in drunk driving accidents.
- The US spends $199 billion annually on costs associated with drunk driving.
- Sobering up takes time, and there's no trick to making it faster.
- The chances of being involved in a drunk driving accident at some point in your life are high – 2 out of 3 people will be involved in one.
- Many drunk drivers who are arrested have driven drunk at least 80 times before they are caught.
To stay safe on New Year's Eve, it is important to plan ahead and arrange for alternative transportation if you plan to drink. If you are not drinking, be vigilant about the actions of other drivers on the road.
New Year's Eve Safety Tips
As we approach the end of the year, it's important to keep safety in mind during celebrations. Follow these tips to ensure a safe and responsible New Year's Eve:
Don't Drink and Drive
One of the most important safety measures you can take on New Year's Eve is to not drink and drive. Not only is it illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, but it's also extremely dangerous. The risk of getting into a serious or even fatal accident increases significantly when you drink and drive. If you plan on consuming alcohol, make sure to arrange for a designated driver or alternative transportation beforehand.
Don't forget to give your friends a safe ride home if they plan on drinking. If you need to arrange a ride for someone, keep the number of a taxi service or other transportation app handy.
Be Vigilant of Others on the Road
Even if you're not drinking, it's important to be aware of other drivers on the road who may be under the influence. If you see someone exhibiting suspicious or dangerous driving behavior, don't hesitate to call law enforcement.
Don't Text and Drive
Drunk driving isn't the only dangerous behavior to watch out for on the roads. Research has shown that texting while driving can be just as dangerous, if not more so, than driving drunk. Make sure to discourage your friends from texting or using their phones while behind the wheel.
New Year's Day Holiday Period Estimates for 2023
According to the National Safety Council, an estimated 408 people may die on US roads during the New Year's Day holiday in 2023. This holiday is traditionally a time for family travel, and car travel has the highest fatality rate of any major form of transportation. Additionally, holiday celebrations often involve alcohol, which can significantly increase the risk of motor vehicle crashes.
In 2023, the New Year's Day holiday will be 3.25 days long, from 6 p.m. on Friday, December 30th, 2022, to 11:59 p.m. on Monday, January 2nd, 2023.
Signs of a Drunk Driver to Watch for
Even if you take all the necessary precautions to avoid drinking and driving, you may still encounter someone on the road who appears to be under the influence. If you see a driver exhibiting any of the following behaviors, they may be drunk:
- Swerving or weaving
- Drifting between lanes
- Unable to stay within the lines
- Suddenly starting or stopping
- Pausing too long at stops
- Dozing off behind the wheel
If you spot a potentially drunk driver, take steps to protect yourself and others on the road. Consider pulling over and calling law enforcement or finding a safe location to wait for the driver to pass. Remember, it's better to be cautious and err on the side of safety rather than putting yourself and others at risk.
Tips for Staying Safe Around Drunk Drivers
Unfortunately, even if you take all the necessary precautions to avoid drinking and driving, you may still encounter someone on the road who appears to be under the influence. If you find yourself in this situation, here are some steps you can take to stay safe:
Slow Down and Increase Your Following Distance
If you notice a driver exhibiting dangerous or suspicious behavior, try to slow down and increase the distance between you and the vehicle. This will give you more time to react if the driver creates a dangerous situation.
Be Careful at Intersections
Be extra cautious when approaching intersections, especially if you see a drunk driver nearby. If you are about to cross an intersection and see a drunk driver approaching, come to a complete stop and let them proceed first. Don't trust the driver to stop or yield.
Call the Police
If you are able to distance yourself from the drunk driver safely, consider calling the police to report the situation. Give an explanation of why you believe the driver is drunk, as well as a description of the vehicle, including the plate numbers.
As a last resort, if you cannot call the police while driving, consider pulling over to the side of the road in a safe location. This may be the best way to prevent the drunk driver from colliding with you.
Don't Engage with the Drunk Driver
Keep in mind that drunk drivers can be unpredictable and may act aggressively. Do not try to flag them down, stop their vehicle, or engage with them in any way. Rather, wait until the police arrive and keep your distance.
One of the best ways to stay safe on New Year's Eve is to avoid driving altogether. If you can, host a party at home or use public transportation to get to your destination. If you do need to drive, make sure to avoid driving late at night and never get behind the wheel if you have been drinking.
What to Do If You Are Hit by a Drunk Driver
If you are hit by a drunk driver while walking or driving in Georgia, it's important to stay calm and take the following steps:
Call the Police
Dial 911 from the scene of the accident and let them know that you believe the at-fault driver is under the influence. Try to get as much information from the driver as possible, such as their full name, contact information, and the name of their insurance company. If the driver is angry, aggressive, or belligerent, wait for the police to arrive without interacting with them.
Seek Medical Attention
If you have suffered serious injuries in the accident, request an ambulance to transport you to the hospital. It's important to get immediate medical care for any type of injury. If you do not think that you have injuries, you should still get checked out by a medical provider within 24 hours because some injuries from accidents may not be felt or show up later.
Gather Evidence and Contact a DUI Attorney
Take pictures of the wreck from many angles and try to capture as much of the accident scene and the cars involved as you safely can. If you are unable to take photos of the accident scene due to your injuries, ask a trusted friend to do it for you. Otherwise, try to take photos and videos yourself if you are able. These can serve as valuable evidence for your insurance claim later.
After the accident, make sure to keep copies of your medical bills and get the police report number before the police leave the scene. Then, consider contacting an attorney for assistance. A DUI accident case can be complex and difficult to navigate, and a lawyer could help you gather important evidence against the drunk driver, such as police camera footage and chemical test results. They may also assist you in bringing a claim with the driver's insurance company.
Legal Help for Accidents Involving Drunk Drivers
If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver, it is important to seek legal help. The personal injury attorneys at Lonati Law Firm are skilled in handling all types of car accident cases, including those involving drunk drivers, particularly around the holidays. To ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve, it is important to contact a Georgia DUI accident attorney at 678-363-3500 to discuss your options and begin building your case. Do not settle for less than you are owed – let the experienced attorneys at Lonati Law Firm help you fight for justice.