Many people attend parties and gatherings over the holidays, and these events often involve alcohol. As a result, incidences of drunk driving tend to increase during the holiday season. Below, we’ll discuss what you should know about holiday drunk driving accidents.
Why are the Holidays a Dangerous Time to be on the Road?
Many people attend more social events and family gatherings than usual during the holiday season. Alcohol is frequently consumed at these functions, and many functions occur at night. As a result, drunk driving becomes more commonplace, making roads less safe.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tracks the number and frequency of car accidents throughout the country and also collects data on the causes of car crashes. According to the NHTSA, there were 10,511 drunk driving crash fatalities in 2018. Of those fatalities, a staggering 285 occurred during the 2018 holiday season.
The Dangers of Drunk Driving
Drunk driving is an extremely dangerous type of negligence. When a driver operates a vehicle while impaired, they run the risk of causing a terrible accident. Drunk driving causes:
- Impaired judgment — Drunk or intoxicated drivers may make bad judgment calls when they get behind the wheel. Misjudging traffic situations can result in deadly crashes.
- Difficulty concentrating —Impaired drivers may have trouble focusing on the task of driving. They may fail to notice road hazards, other motorists, motorcyclists, pedestrians, bikers, and inanimate objects.
- Changes to vision and hearing — Drivers who are impaired may experience changes to their sight and hearing. For example, impaired drivers may “see double” or may not be able to recognize certain colors. This could cause drivers to misread traffic signals.
- Slowed reaction time — Impaired drivers may experience a delayed reaction time. If traffic suddenly slows or stops or a road hazard appears, an impaired driver may not have sufficient time to stop before causing a collision.
What to Do if You’ve Been Injured in a Crash Involving a Drunk Driver
If you’ve been injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, there are several things you should do:
- Call 911 — First, you should call law enforcement. Law enforcement will conduct a brief, initial investigation of the accident at the scene, obtain statements from you, the other driver, and any witnesses, and jot down pertinent details about the accident in their report. The information contained in the police report can significantly strengthen your case. Law enforcement will also have the resources to perform a field sobriety test and measure the blood alcohol concentration level of the at-fault driver. The results will likely be included in the police report.
- Seek medical attention right away — Pursue prompt medical treatment. Most insurance companies require that you be seen within 72 hours of an accident if you plan to pursue compensation through an insurance claim.
- Collect evidence at the scene —Take photos of the accident scene from a variety of angles. Make sure you capture pictures of vehicle damage, debris at the scene, and your injuries.
- Hire an attorney — Consult with an attorney right away. Your attorney will defend your rights and advocate for your interests throughout the claims process.
If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident, contact the Law Offices of Willie Powells III and Associates, PLLC to discuss your case and learn how our firm can help.
How Law Offices of Willie Powells III and Associates, PLLC Could Help
Law Offices of Willie Powells III and Associates, PLLC has years of experience helping Houstonians who have been injured in drunk driving accidents get the compensation and justice they deserve. Call us today at (713) 360-0062 to schedule a free consultation, or contact us online.