Stay Safe: How to Avoid Being Injured by a Drunk Driver

NJ personal injury

Almost thirty percent of all car accidents are caused by drinking and driving. In New Jersey alone, there are hundreds of fatalities and thousands of serious injuries caused by drunk driving per year. Drunk driving accidents increase around the holidays, as people are attending more family celebrations, work functions, and other parties where alcohol is typically served.  Use the following tips to keep you and your family safe and to avoid becoming the victim of a drunk driving accident.

 

Buckle-up!

There’s a reason for that annoying seatbelt ding in your car and police departments’ “click-it-or-ticket” campaigns. Wearing a seatbelt is your best defense against injury in a drunk driving accident. Using a seatbelt the correct way has been proven to significantly reduce the chance of a fatal crash. Wear your seatbelt with the bottom strap across your hips and the top strap resting across your chest and collar bone. Making sure you and your passengers are always secured with a seatbelt could be a life-saving precaution—not to mention, it’s the law!

 

Minimize Night Driving

While a drunk driving accident can happen at any time, your chances of encountering a drunk driver increase later at night. Reduced visibility and potentially slippery roads can serve to further impair already inebriated drivers. Try to avoid driving on well-traveled roads in the evening and nighttime hours. If you do have to drive at night, make sure you are cautious and fully alert.

 

Drive Cautiously

During the holiday season, take the time to use extra precautions while you’re driving. Maintaining a generous following distance will give you extra time to react to any erratic driving in front of you. If you notice an erratic driver behind you, slow down and try to stay out of their path. Intersections can be particularly dangerous, with drunk drivers ignoring posted stop or yield signs. Don’t assume a car will stop. Wait for other cars to come to a complete stop before crossing an intersection.

 

Know the Signs of a Drunk Driver

Practicing defensive driving is always a smart choice, but sometimes the best way to deal with drunk drivers on the road is to avoid them all together. Knowing what to look out for when you are driving will help you steer clear of any impaired drivers. If you see any of these indicators, pull to the side of the road and call 911. Provide a description of the vehicle if you can and alert the police to the location and direction the car is traveling. Hopefully, they will be able to catch up to the driver and prevent an accident.

Signs of a drunk driver include:

  • Swerving or weaving in and out of their lane
  • Headlights are off when it’s dark
  • Frequent braking for no reason
  • Sudden turns
  • Driving way above or way below the speed limit
  • Delayed response to traffic lights

 

Be a Responsible Party Guest/Host

You yourself are likely to attend a few holiday parties this year. Don’t become part of the problem. If you are driving, avoid all alcohol and stick to water or soda. Always remember that “buzzed” driving is just as bad as drunk driving. If you choose to consume alcohol, make sure you have a reliable designated driver that will not be consuming any alcohol that evening. If you are hosting the party, you are responsible for making sure everyone gets home safe. If you have even the smallest doubt about a friend’s ability to drive, help them find another way home or offer to let them sleep over.

 

If you have already been the unfortunate victim of a drunk driving accident, you deserve maximum compensation for your suffering. Veitengruber Law can help make sure you get the best representation for your case. While we do not represent personal injury cases, we do evaluate them. We can assess your case and refer you to the right personal injury attorney in our network of trusted professionals.

Have a safe holiday season!

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