Drunk Driver Risk on Pennsylvania Roadways
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drunk driving claims 29 lives per day in the United States, an average of one death roughly every 50 minutes. Alcohol-related accidents rack up $44 billion dollars in repairs and medical costs, and take a massive emotional toll on victims and their friends and families. What steps can you take to avoid suffering from an alcohol-related accident?
The most effective way to prevent drunk driving deaths is simply to never drive while there is alcohol in your system. If everyone could be convinced to hold to that, there would be no problem at all. But as long as we are sharing the road with people who do have alcohol in their systems, it is important to know how to minimize any damage taken.
To that end, Driving Tests has recently provided a list of seven important things to know about sharing the road with drunk drivers. The first five are essentially defensive, while the last two are proactive ways to reduce the number of drunk drivers on the road.
Defensive Driving Tips
Driving defensively will help you to avoid being involved in all types of accidents, including drunk driving accidents. It's important to note that while these safety measures can help to protect you and your family, it is entirely possible for a good defensive driver to still be injured by a drunk driver.
1. Buckle Up: Wearing a seat belt reduces the chances of an accident being fatal, and even makes major and minor injuries less likely.
2. Keep Your Distance: Maintaining a safe distance between vehicles is always necessary, as this provides drivers time to react to changing road conditions. When a driver is fluctuating in speed or veering out of his or her lane, keep your distance and contact law enforcement.
3. Be Careful at Intersections: A drunk driver may not react appropriately to road signs and traffic signals. This makes them more dangerous at intersections, where other drivers may expect them to stop.
4. Avoid Late Night Driving: Most alcohol-influenced accidents happen late at night or before dawn, especially on weekends. Try to avoid driving during these times whenever possible; if you must be on the road, drive carefully.
5. Home for the Holidays: In a similar vein, the holidays are hot spots on the calendar for drunk driving. Take extra care on the road during these times.
6. Designated Drivers: One easy way to limit the number of drunk drivers on the road is to stay sober while out and drive your friends home yourself.
7. Checkpoints: Police will occasionally set up checkpoints on popular routes to ensure that no drunk drivers pass the area.
While everything we can do to limit drunk driving injuries and deaths is important, ultimate responsibility is with those who drink and drive. And if you've been injured by a drunk driver, you have legal rights.
If you or a loved one has suffered from a drunk driving accident, contact us today to learn how we can help.