According to the National Safety Council (NSC), the days between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day are among the most dangerous for drivers across the country. Within those few weeks, the risk of getting into a car accident increases noticeably in many areas, especially when considering the risk of getting hit by a drunk driver.
Based on NSC estimates and recorded data:
- 507 traffic fatalities were predicted for the Thanksgiving holiday period in 2023.
- 623 traffic fatalities occurred during the Thanksgiving holiday period in 2006, the highest on record.
- 346 traffic fatalities are predicted for the Christmas holiday period in 2023.
- 575 traffic fatalities occurred during the Christmas holiday period in 2001, the highest on record.
Why Drunk Driving is Such a Problem in the Holidays
Drunk driving becomes a particularly significant issue during the holiday season due to several factors:
- Increased celebrations: The holiday season is a time of celebration, which often involves alcohol consumption. Parties, family gatherings, and festive events can lead to higher levels of drinking.
- Increased travel: With more people on the roads visiting family and friends or heading to holiday destinations, there's a higher likelihood of encountering drunk drivers.
- False confidence: People may underestimate how much they've had to drink or overestimate their ability to drive safely after consuming alcohol. This false confidence can lead to poor decision-making and risky behavior on the roads.
- Lowered inhibitions: Alcohol impairs judgment and slows reaction times, making it much harder to respond to unexpected situations on the road. Even a small amount can affect driving ability.
- Stress and depression: The holidays can also be a period of increased stress and depression for many people. Some may turn to alcohol as a coping mechanism, which when combined with driving, poses a significant risk.
How to Prevent Drunk Driving After a Holiday Party
Sober driving is not just an individual responsibility; it's a collective one. Every time someone gets behind the wheel after consuming alcohol, they're not only putting their own life at risk but also the lives of everyone else on the road. We all must take steps to prevent drunk driving and ensure that everyone gets home safely after holiday parties.
Several ways to prevent drunk driving after a holiday party include:
- Designate a sober driver: Before the party begins, designate a sober driver who will abstain from drinking and be responsible for getting everyone home safely.
- Use rideshare services or taxis: Apps like Uber and Lyft, or traditional taxi services, provide a safe and convenient way to get home if you've been drinking.
- Stay overnight: If the party is being held at a friend's house or a hotel, consider staying overnight instead of attempting to drive home.
- Offer non-alcoholic beverages: If you're hosting a party, offer a selection of appealing non-alcoholic beverages for designated drivers and others who choose not to drink.
- Encourage safe practices: As a host, keep an eye on your guests' alcohol consumption, and don't hesitate to arrange alternative transportation for those who have had too much to drink.
- Utilize public transportation: If it's available and safe, using buses, trams, or trains can be an effective way to get home after a party.
By taking these steps, we can all contribute to making the holiday season safer and more enjoyable for everyone. Remember, there's no such thing as safe drunk driving – the best decision is always to stay sober if you'll be hitting the road.
If you or a loved one find yourselves unfortunately injured by a holiday drunk driver, don't hesitate to reach out to The Law Office of Joshua W. Branch, LLC. Our dedicated team of professionals understands the complexities of such cases and is committed to providing you with the legal support you need. We provide legal representation throughout the State of Georgia. Don't face this difficult time alone. Contact us today and let us help you turn a distressing situation into a path toward resolution and recovery. Remember the initial consultation is free and we do not receive compensation unless you receive compensation.