In an effort to reduce the number of car accidents caused by impaired drivers during the holidays, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is working with local police across the country this holiday season to educate drivers about the dangers of drunk driving.
"Two of the most celebrated dates in December – Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve – are also among the most dangerous," says MADD, which is also working with other groups to drive home the same message – drinking and driving is a dangerous recipe for the holidays.
Drunk driving spikes during the holiday season
The statistics leave no room for doubt – alcohol-impaired drivers contribute significantly to the surge in accidents during the holiday season. Over the five years from 2017 to 2021, car accident data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveals 4,500 car accident fatalities attributed to drunk drivers nationwide in December alone. The year 2021 stands out as particularly grim, witnessing 1,013 car accident fatalities resulting from drunk driving incidents during December.
In response to this alarming trend, the National Safety Council (NSC) and the National Road Safety Foundation have aligned their efforts with MADD, collectively designating December as National Impaired Driving Awareness Month. The reasoning is clear, as articulated in a recent statement by the National Road Safety Foundation, which highlights the year-end holiday period from Thanksgiving through New Year's as consistently ranking among the most dangerous times on U.S. roads and highways.
What's being done to stop holiday drunk driving?
Efforts to combat holiday drunk driving extend beyond education initiatives during National Impaired Driving Awareness Month. State and local law enforcement agencies are gearing up for heightened enforcement this month, actively targeting individuals who choose to drive under the influence.
This rigorous drunk driving enforcement program aligns with the overarching "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign, a nationwide effort led by the NHTSA in collaboration with organizations such as MADD. These proactive initiatives carry significance, as effective police enforcement of drunk driving laws stands as a crucial and proven strategy in addressing this critical issue.
How to prevent drunk driving collisions
Preventing drunk driving collisions involves a multi-pronged approach, including education, police enforcement, and individual responsibility. As a responsible driver, you can play a crucial role in reducing the risk of drunk driving accidents by taking the following proactive steps:
- Have Personal Accountability: If you've consumed alcohol during the holiday season, exercise good judgment and refrain from getting behind the wheel. Choose not to drive if you've had too much to drink.
- Designate a Sober Driver: Plan ahead and designate a sober driver among your group who can ensure a safe ride home for everyone. Having a reliable designated driver is a responsible and effective way to avoid driving under the influence.
- Use a Rideshare Service: When a designated driver is unavailable, consider using a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft to secure a safe and convenient ride home. These platforms offer a reliable alternative to impaired driving.
- Report Impaired Drivers: If you encounter a driver exhibiting signs of impairment, immediately contact the police. Your timely phone call could prevent a potentially catastrophic drunk driving collision and save lives during the holiday season. Your vigilance and concern for the safety of others on the road are invaluable contributions to preventing tragedy.
If you were hit by a drunk driver, contact a car accident lawyer
If you've been injured in a car accident with a drunk driver, it's crucial to seek legal help. Contacting an experienced car accident lawyer is essential to protect your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve.
At Dean Waite & Associates, LLC, our dedicated legal team knows how to handle complex cases and is committed to advocating for your best interests. If you were hit by a drunk driver in Alabama, don't hesitate to contact us for a free consultation. Let us fight for the justice and financial compensation you deserve.