Getting in a car is the riskiest thing you can do. Seriously. Auto accidents are the number one cause of death for Americans under the age of 34, killing 40,000 people each year.
Sharing the road with a drunk driver, however, puts you at the highest risk for getting into a car accident.
Now, technically you can be on the road with a drunk driver at any time. But certain days, times, and events tend to bring out more boozy drivers than the rest of the year. If you plan on driving during any of these times, be extra careful:
August – In 2009, the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) collected data on all of the traffic-related fatalities in 2008. In January, there were 2,818… but August racked up 3,612 deaths. Why August? There are a lot factors that could explain these statistics, including:
- It’s hot, and high temperatures pose extra risk for tire blowouts and other malfunctions
- The summer is beginning to wrap up, and people are getting in their final vacations and beach trips before the fall
Luckily, August has come and gone this year, and we have a while to wait until the most dangerous month to drive returns.
Saturdays –Why Saturday? It’s simple: more people are out on the road during the weekend, so there is an increased risk of getting into an accident with another vehicle.
The dangers of drunk driving also play a big factor here. Alcohol was involved in 31% of traffic-related deaths in 2014. More people are out drinking on a Saturday night, which increases the risk of being on the road with a drunk driver.
Holidays – DUI arrests or accidents can quickly turn a holiday from a joyous occasion to on that is stressful or solemn. Some of the most dangerous holidays to be on the road include:
- Thanksgiving: With a lot of eating comes a lot of drinking. It’s also a big day for traveling, since Thanksgiving traditionally involves big dinners with families traveling across town (or even farther).
- New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day: A quick champagne toast isn’t the only alcohol that many partygoers indulge in on New Year’s Day. As many as 40% of traffic-related fatalities (which totaled 468 on New Year’s Day in 2009) were caused by a drunk driver. Rideshares may be extremely expensive during this holiday, but shelling out the extra cash is definitely worth your personal safety.
- Fourth of July: The Fourth of July is a big combination of everything that causes high rates of DUI. It usually consists of lots of barbecue and lots of beer, often in public settings or parks. It also tends to be a lovely time of year to be out and about. But many people underestimate the influence of alcohol on their systems on the Fourth of July. Sure, you may have stopped drinking a few hours prior to the fireworks starting, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have alcohol in your bloodstream that can impair your judgment when you hit the road after your big picnic.
Law enforcement officers are very aware of the most dangerous times to be on the road, and do their best to catch anyone driving under the influence of alcohol before they can cause an accident. Still, accidents happen, and can cause major damage to both drivers and passengers involved.
If you need a criminal defense (DUI) or personal injury lawyer for incidents involving DUI, be sure to get in touch with us today.
About the Author:
Jan Elliott Pritchett is Managing Partner at the Law Firm of Schlosser & Pritchett and one of North Carolina’s top rated criminal defense attorneys. With a practice dedicated 100% to litigation, Mr. Pritchett protects the legal rights of clients who have been charged in federal and state criminal matters, as well as DUI/DWi, motor vehicle accidents, personal injury, and traffic violations. In practice since 1995, Mr. Pritchett has earned a reputation as a highly talented and fearless lawyer, being listed among the state’s “Legal Elite” and recognized as one of the Top 100 DWI Lawyers in North Carolina by the National Advocacy of DUI Defense. He currently serves as the Co-Chairman of the North Carolina State Board of Legal Specialization, Criminal Law Specialty, and Vice-Chairman of the North Carolina Bar Association, Criminal Justice Section.