10 Tips to Avoid a Drunk Driving Accident Over the Holidays
Most people enjoy celebrating the holidays with friends and family. While we’re not entirely past the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems that this year most people will be getting together to celebrate and resume holiday traditions that were put on hold last year. For most Americans, celebrating is synonymous with alcohol, and that can lead to drunk driving.
Here are some tips to help you avoid an accident with a drunk driver while you’re enjoying the holiday season.
Choose a Non-Drinking Designated Driver
If you go out to celebrate, choose a non-drinking designated driver. If you have a friend who likes to go out, but doesn’t drink (and doesn’t mind), they can be your perennial DD. Otherwise, make sure to rotate the responsibility, including volunteering yourself sometimes.
Don’t Drink If You Go Out Alone
If you are out alone, don’t drink. Know that if you start drinking, you are likely to continue. Even if you try to limit yourself, alcohol diminishes your self-control, which can make it hard to stop yourself from drinking too much.
Don’t Feel Pressured to Drink
Drinking is a social activity, and many people pressure others into drinking. Let friends know when you’re not drinking and be as firm as possible in your resolve. If another friend tells you they’re not drinking, don’t pressure them, either.
If You Drink, Don’t Get Behind the Wheel
If you do find yourself succumbing to drink, either because you let yourself start or because friends pressured you to, don’t drive. There are many options for getting home when you’ve been drinking. Take RTD, call a cab, Uber, Lyft, or more. Don’t, however, think of a bike or Lime rental as an alternative to driving. You might be less likely to hurt others, but you can still get in an accident.
Don’t Ride with Someone Who’s Been Drinking
If you are out with people who’ve been drinking, don’t get into the car with someone who has been drinking. Let them know you will find another way home.
Take the Keys from Friends Who’ve Been Drinking
Everybody has that one friend they trust to take the keys from them if they have been drinking. If you are that friend, you need to step up and take responsibility. They might be angry, but you should get them to turn over the keys to you. Don’t fight over it, though, as this can also lead to serious injuries and legal penalties.
Be Aware of the Holidays
People often drink more than they normally do on a holiday. There are many holidays over the months of November and December. Try to be aware of when they are so you can be on the lookout for drunk drivers. Note, for example, that Hanukkah is early this year, and starts at the end of the Thanksgiving weekend. Christmas and New Year’s Eve are popular holidays for drinking, but be aware that people might also be out drinking after celebrating Kwanzaa or Solstice.
In addition, holiday parties are typically thrown throughout the month of December. These gatherings are often times when people will consume large quantities of alcohol. So even if you’re going out on a day that doesn’t fall on a specific holiday, be aware that there are likely others who are celebrating the holidays on that evening, and they may have been drinking heavily before they drive home.
Avoid Peak Hours for Drunk Drivers
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more drunk driving accidents occur between midnight and three am, with significant shoulders extending the riskiest times from 9 pm to 6 am. Try to be in by nine if you can, but being in by midnight is safest.
Give Erratic Drivers Space
If you’re out driving and you notice a driver that’s behaving erratically, give them space. You never know exactly how they are going to behave, so you need to make sure you are prepared to respond to whatever they might do.
Call in Suspected Drunk Drivers
It’s also good to call in suspected drunk drivers when it’s safe to do so. Pull over or have a passenger call the Colorado State Patrol’s special number *277 and give them the details they need to get the drunk driver off the road before they cause an accident.
Get Compensation after a Drunk Driving Accident in Denver
There are many steps people can take to avoid getting behind the wheel of a car when drunk. If a drunk driver hit you, it’s because they made a series of bad choices, and they should pay the price for these choices, not you.
This is the essence of our Informed Decisions™ approach. No one’s life should be ruined by bad choices, either the bad choices of a drunk driver, or bad choices made when seeking compensation. We listen to your needs and goals in a drunk driving accident case, then help you to understand your options so you can make the smart choices necessary to get the best possible outcome for you and your family.
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