With summer in full swing, you’re probably already making plans to attend festivals, picnic with friends and family, watch fireworks, and do some grilling. Going to a cookout, attending a concert, or watching a fireworks show can be lots of fun, (although it’s important to be safe with fireworks) but keep in mind that a lot of other people are going to be on the roads too. And when upwards of 34 million drivers are on the road and many of them have been drinking, the odds of dangerous drunk driving accidents is much higher than normal. In fact, America’s Independence Day is the single most dangerous day in the year when it comes to fatality car accidents related to drinking alcohol.
Stay Aware to Avoid Drunk Driving Accidents
So with these statistics in mind, we recommend staying aware and staying responsible this summer to keep yourself and your loved ones safe from drunk driving accidents. If you are aware of a drunk driver, please call 9-1-1 when you’re in a safe place and if your friends and family have been drinking, make sure to take away their keys. Always ensure that there’s a designated driver and that that person is completely sober. If a designated driver isn’t available, call a cab or use a ride sharing service that can get you and your fellow partygoers to and from the festivities safely. Your diligence can prevent another drunk driver on the road this summer.
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Most Common Times for Drunk Driving Accidents
Drunk drivers are a serious problem for motorists every day, but there are times when drunk drivers are more prominent than others. Holidays commonly see a large increase in drinking under the influence. The Christmas season, New Years’ week, Thanksgiving, Holloween, and Fourth of July are among the times where you will see the most drinking and driving.
Types of Injuries Caused by Drunk Drivers
Drunk drivers can cause several types of injuries, most prominent of which are death and paralysis. This is because accidents with drunk drivers tend to be more severe since they are unable to slow down and make good judgment calls. Many drunk drivers high pedestrians, which has a high likelihood of resulting in death. However, accidents with other cars can be just as devastating.
The most interesting part about the injuries from drunk drivers is that the drunk driver often walks away from the accident with minimal bodily damage. They are often so drunk that their muscles are relaxed. When they hit something, their bodies don’t tense up leaving them loose and limber during the accident. This keeps drunk drivers from getting more serious injuries. In many cases, they sustain minor injuries compared to the other people in the accident.
Signs a Driver is Drunk
You can likely spot a drunk driver on the road. The first sign is swerving repetitively. Ever car swerves, but drink drivers will do it a lot even moving out of their lane. Another clue is not being able to follow basic driving rules like matching the speed limit or driving in the wrong direction. For some drunk drivers, it is very obvious. However, there are some drunk drivers that can drive without being identified. If you suspect that someone is driving drunk, give them plenty of space and remain vigilant.
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What is the Legal Limit for Alcohol Consumption and Driving?
Every state has a legal limit for alcohol consumption and driving. The federal government standardized the legal limit at 0.08% BAC (Blood Alcohol Content). Every state adopted this same limit in 1998 to comply with federal guidelines. However, every state has different limits for anyone under special circumstances. For example, the legal limit for commercial vehicles is considerably lower in most places. There are also policies with much harsher punishments for people under the legal drinking age or that meet other special requirements. Regardless of where you drive, the best way to avoid trouble is to not drink and drive.
Other Conditions that Mimic Drunk Driving
While driving under the influence of alcohol is a major problem, it is not the only problem that looks like drunk driving. You could have one of several different conditions that can be confused for drunk driving by police and other onlookers. Sleep deprivation is a very common condition the mimics drunk driving. If you don’t get enough sleep, your brain starts to slow down and you cannot think or react like normal. Alcohol has a similar effect, which is why very tired drivers look like they are driving drunk.
Driving under the influence (DUI) is a broader term than most people realize. It covers more than just alcohol consumption and drunk driving. Consuming anything that has a similar or debilitating effect on your body, then you can be arrested and charged with a DUI. This includes some over the counter (OTC) medications, which can have long-lasting effects on you without you realizing it. Medical conditions that affect your balance can also make you seem like you are drunk. If you are prone to dizziness or motion sickness, then you may have trouble navigating a car in a straight line.
Hit by a Drunk Driver? We’re Here to Help!
While we hope that everyone has a safe and enjoyable summer, if you or a loved one are hit by a drunk driver, make sure to reach out to us right away. Contacting the police and your insurance company won’t get you the justice you need if an irresponsible driver decides to break the law and endanger others. Reach out to us immediately for a free consultation to see how we can help you. We’ve handled many cases involving drivers under the influence and recommend that you check out our testimonials here.
Stay safe, always have a designated driver, and if disaster strikes, we’re ready to help get your life back on track.