The holidays are upon us. This is a time to celebrate with friends and family. These celebrations often involve driving long distances to see friends and family, heading to a celebration at the local bar, or sending 2016 off at a friend’s house.
Regardless of where Houstonians celebrate, these big celebrations are sure to include alcohol.
Avoid Alcohol Impaired Driving in Texas
Unfortunately, this also means big numbers for alcohol impaired driving, which Texas already has a problem with.
According to a 2012 analysis released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2015, Texas is 14th in the nation for alcohol impaired driving. Texas has a rate of 703 alcohol impaired driving incidents for every 1,000 individuals. The national average is 505 episodes per 1000 people.
Texas also had the highest amount of drunk driving fatalities in 2015, reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Thirty-eight percent of our state’s traffic fatalities involved alcohol (tied for third in the nation).
And unfortunately, drunk driving does not occur only on holiday weekends. The Houston Chronicle reported 40 felony DWI arrests in the month of March 2016 alone.
With the high numbers of alcohol impaired drivers on the roads in Houston, especially during the holidays, it is vitally important for drivers to be vigilant and practice defensive driving in order to avoid an accident with a drunk driver.
Defensive Driving Tips for New Year's Eve
According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), 32 people died over New Year’s weekend in 2015. All of these deaths were entirely preventable. To keep yourself safe, check out the following tips for hitting the road on New Year’s Eve:
- Do not tailgate. Other drivers may be drowsy, impaired, or distracted. You need plenty of time to react to their bad driving in order to avoid being in an accident.
- Pay close attention to the other vehicles on all sides of your vehicle. Check your mirrors frequently.
- Watch for pedestrians. In addition to drunk drivers, there will surely be quite a few intoxicated pedestrians walking the streets. Drive more slowly through areas that are more crowded.
- Make sure you use your headlights and turn signals so the other drivers can see you and be aware of your driving intentions. Do not be afraid to use your horn if another driver is driving dangerously. If you believe the driver is intoxicated, stay away and call 911 to report him or her.
- Do not drive distracted. You should always focus entirely on the road when you are behind the wheel, but it is especially important when many other drivers might be distracted or intoxicated.
- Drive safely. This one seems obvious, but you need to drive more safely on New Year’s Eve because others will not be. Do not speed; do not try to beat yellow lights; follow all traffic safety laws because you can be sure a reckless driver will be breaking them.
Do Not Drink and Drive
This one is also obvious: do not drink and drive. Even if you have only had a drink or two, you are putting yourself and others at risk.
You need your wits about you if you are going to contend with reckless drivers on our roads. If you are at a friend’s house, ask to stay on the couch or get a ride home from someone sober. You can also call a taxi or Uber.
Uber drivers are not immune to car accidents; however, using Uber has decreased the occurrence of DUI accidents around the nation.
You can also call an Uber for your friend if you think s/he has had too much to drink.
What can I do if I have been involved in a drunk driving accident?
Even if you take every reasonable precaution, you cannot control the actions of other people. You can try to avoid the consequences of their actions, but this is not always possible. We have the “perfect storm” of dangerous roads, winter weather, distractions, and high rates of alcohol consumption. As a result, many people will be involved in car accidents during the holidays. We stand with those people.
If you or someone you love was injured in a drunk driving accident during the New Year’s Eve holiday, you are not alone. Call The Law Offices of Hilda L. Sibrian, P.C. for compassionate and professional help. We can help you prove liability and recover the compensation you deserve from the drunk driver. Se habla Español.
Call today: 713-863-1515. We offer free consultations and even make house calls.