Most of us enjoy spending time with loved ones during the holidays, but to ensure everyone gets to celebrate with their families, we need to be extra safe on the road.
The period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is a dangerous time on American roadways due to a culture of increased alcohol consumption and the influx of holiday travel. Not only are there more vehicles on the road, but many drivers are being less careful.
Making (the) Spirits (Industry) Bright
According to Forbes and the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, the distilled-spirits industry makes more than 25% of its profit during the holidays. Half of American families report that alcohol plays a role in their family’s holiday gatherings. With festive drinks like spiked hot chocolate, egg nog, champagne, and mulled wine, it’s no surprise that people are having fun, and maybe drinking a little too much.
While we don’t want to take anyone’s good time away, we do want to remind everyone reading that you should NEVER get behind the wheel of a vehicle if you have been drinking.
Even if you only had 1 or 2 drinks and your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is under the legal limit (.08), any amount of intoxication can impair your driving and make you a danger to yourself and those around you.
If you encounter a drunk driver during the holidays, call 911 immediately.
A Blue Christmas
Holidays can be a difficult time for many people, so the reasons behind holiday-binge drinking are not always celebratory. Many alcoholics struggle with this time of year and high-risk DUI offenders are more likely to hit the roads after drinking away stresses and sorrows.
Alcohol-related crashes increase by 2-3x during the holidays. This year, 1,200 people are expected to be killed and another 25,000 will be injured in traffic accidents caused by alcohol.
Check-in on your loved ones this holiday season, and don’t be afraid to remind everyone in your family of these sobering facts.
You may also want to include non-alcoholic options at any holiday party you host.
A Winter Wonderland
You’re probably not going to see much snow in Pensacola this year, but it’s always a good idea to check weather conditions before you head out on the road, especially if you’re traveling.
If you live in a high-density location, it may also be a good idea to check traffic conditions before getting behind the wheel.
Whenever you are on the road, keep the following tips in mind:
- Drive slowly and adjust to traffic whenever necessary
- Allow ample following distance
- Remember to check your blind spot before changing lanes
- Keep your full attention on the road at all times
- Pull over if you’re feeling sleepy
- Exercise defensive driving
- Don’t engage with aggressive drivers
- Never drive after taking drugs or consuming alcohol
Sometimes, all it takes is one good driver to prevent an accident, but some collisions are truly unavoidable.
If you need legal help, call us at (850) 607-2929 or request a free consultation online.
All Is Calm, All Is Bright
Studies from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that fatal car accidents have been steadily decreasing over the past 2 years.
If everyone puts a little extra effort into safe driving this holiday season, we can prevent senseless tragedies and make sure everyone makes it home to their loved ones.
Safe driving truly is the best gift you can give this holiday season.
From all of us at The Watson Law Firm, PLLC, we wish you a very happy – and very safe – holiday!