With holidays come family gatherings, socializing with friends, get-togethers and office parties. These are occasions we look forward to every year. Unfortunately, there’s a darker side to it: each year, hundreds of lives are lost due to drunken driving.
Every December, there’s a spike in highway fatalities. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 36 fatalities occur each day on an average linked to alcohol-impaired driving. During the holiday season, this figure spikes to 45. But even these grim statistics do not fully reveal the horrific consequences of such accidents: loss of income, severe injuries, expensive treatment, and enormous pain and suffering.
It’s on each and every one of us to prevent such accidents. It’s important to remember that everyone has a role to play in ensuring that drunk drivers stay off the road. Let’s take a closer look at what each of us can do:
Driver: The primary responsibility of preventing drunken driving lies with the driver. The rule is clear: if you get drunk, you cannot drive. Some ways in which you can avoid drunken driving are:
- If you plan to drink, see that you arrange for a sober driver to take you home.
- When you plan to go home, call a cab. There are many services which offer free rides to intoxicated drivers.
- If you’re going to attend a Christmas or New Year’s party and you plan to have more than two drinks that evening, you can always opt to stay the night in a nearby hotel.
Host: Many of us organize get-togethers and parties for our friends and family. However, if you decide to serve alcohol, make sure that you take proper care of your guests.
- If you observe that someone is consuming more than two drinks, be pro-active and ensure that the person doesn’t drive himself home
- Provide a list of local cab companies to your guests
- Take their car keys away and call a cab
Friends: Do not allow your intoxicated friends to drive. You can take away the keys or move the car to a safe place where they can’t find it. Drive your friend home instead. If you can’t drive them home, see that you book them a cab.
Family: Most of us know family members who drink at holiday parties. You would certainly not want your loved ones to risk their lives or that of others when they get behind the wheel in an intoxicated state.
- Offer to take your loved ones to the party and drop them back home after it ends.
- If you’re a parent worried about your teenager, explain that you are available round-the-clock should they feel that they are too intoxicated to drive.
As a responsible citizen, you have a significant role to play in keeping drunken drivers off the roads. If you notice that a driver is intoxicated, reach out to the police and report the behavior immediately. You can share the location, vehicle make and model, and car registration number. If you yourself are intoxicated, do not forget to book a cab. Also, never get into a car that is driven by someone who has consumed too much drink.
Get Legal Assistance
If you’re injured in a drunken driving accident, you could be having a hard time coping with huge medical bills. You can file a lawsuit against the drunken driver to obtain compensation. Keep in mind that many insurance companies will attempt to pay you minimum compensation. In such a situation, an attorney is the best person to take up your case and ensure that your legal rights are properly safeguarded.