From celebrating with family and friends to finding the perfect gift, the holidays are the best time of year. But with all the excitement going around, it’s important to keep yourself safe, especially when driving. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, California’s roads are packed with holiday shoppers and partygoers.
Driving becomes even more dangerous when drunk drivers are on the road. No matter how careful you are behind the wheel, you cannot control what other people do. Even with police officers working tirelessly to catch drunk drivers, accidents remain high every year. However, there are ways you can keep yourself, your friends, and your family safe from DUI accidents during the holidays. If you’ve been involved in an accident because of a drunk driver, you may want to consider reaching out to a car accident attorney.
Know the Drunk Driving Season
Did you know that Thanksgiving Eve marks the beginning of “drunk driving season?” The peak dates for drunk driving are in the days leading up to Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day. Many people have multiple holiday parties they attend in the evenings during this period. Additionally, college students are home to reunite with their high school friends, with many going to local bars.
One easy way to reduce your chances of being in a drunk driving accident during the holidays is to limit night driving. You should also try your best to avoid driving on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. These are the top 2 worst dates of the year for drunk driving accidents.
Spend the Night
If you’re attending a party at a friend or family member’s house, make plans to spend the night. Bring an overnight bag with any medication, hygiene products, and clothing. You can also book a hotel room if you don’t feel comfortable asking to stay over. Even if you don’t plan on drinking, it’s best to air on the side of caution. The peak hours for drunk driving are between midnight and 3 a.m.
Additionally, if you’re the party’s host, you have a moral obligation to make sure your guests are safe, especially if they’ve been drinking. Consider allowing some guests to spend the night on the couch or in a guest bedroom. You should also provide plenty of food to slow down alcohol consumption.
Drive on Lit Roads
Many drunk drivers will travel along back roads and less trafficked areas to avoid police officers. When driving on a dark street, drunk drivers may swerve into the other lane. Driving on well-lit roads will decrease the chance of head-on or rear-end collision from a drunk driver. To be extra cautious, consider only driving during daylight hours.
Avoid Driving on the Interstate
While you should drive on major roadways, you should avoid interstates. Many interstate accidents occurred when a drunk driver took a wrong turn and drove in the wrong direction. Additionally, higher speeds can cause drunk drivers to lose control of their vehicles.
How to Identify Potential Drunk Drivers
If you have to drive at night during the holidays, it’s more important than ever to be aware of your surroundings. Some signs of a potential drunk driver include:
- Swerving or drifting into other lanes
- Braking erratically, especially for no reason
- Making wide or illegal turns
Driving behind a potentially drunk driver can be a frightening experience, so keep your distance to avoid a crash. Once it’s safe, pull over and report the driver to local law enforcement. You’ll want the car’s make, model, and color. If you can safely do so, try to obtain the license plate number as well.
Contact a Skilled California Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one was involved in a crash caused by a drunk driver, you might be conflicted about what your options are and whether your damages are worth fighting for. The best way to evaluate your case is to speak with an experienced California personal injury attorney.
California law allows you to pursue fair and just compensation for any damages and losses you suffered because of another party’s negligence. At Setareh Law, our team of legal experts provides an unmatched level of legal representation for plaintiffs across California. Recognized by SuperLawers, our attorneys will evaluate your case’s facts and discuss what type of compensation is available to you.
Call (310) 659-1826 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.