According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a fatal drunk driving accident occurs every 50 minutes across America, and drivers between 21 and 24 are responsible for 34% of those. But that doesn’t mean you or your loved ones are in the clear if you’re outside of that age group.
A drunk driving accident can occur at any time and change your life forever. Summer is a serious concern for drunk drivers, especially with new drivers on the road and family vacations in full gear. But fortunately, there are some effective tips for avoiding a drunk driving accident this summer.
Reinforce the Seatbelt Habit
Car crashes are the leading cause of fatalities nationwide through the driving age of 54, and many of the victims lose their lives because they didn’t wear their seat belts. Seat belts may feel restrictive when you’re not used to them, but that’s the point. They keep drivers and passengers from being ejected from the vehicle. Seat belts can reduce the risk of serious injury by 50% and the risk of an accident-related fatality by 45%. So buckle up.
Be Extra Careful at and Around Intersections
Alcohol affects a driver’s ability to absorb their surroundings and react accordingly. Even a single drink can significantly reduce a driver’s reaction time. So many drunk driving accidents occur at traffic lights and intersections. Always approach intersections carefully and cautiously. Yield to oncoming traffic, and don’t rush through a traffic light, especially when carrying precious cargo. It’s always worth adding a few minutes onto your travel schedule to help ensure you get there in one piece.
Maintain Proper Speeds and Avoid Tailgating
Always be aware of the speed limits for the areas you’re driving. A drunk driving accident can happen anywhere, but most occur on rural roads or highways. Highway speed limits range between 55 and 85 MPH and going even 5 miles over that speed can increase the risks of a collision. Even if you’re in a hurry, always give enough following distance and avoid tailgating at all costs. Any jerk can slam on the brakes, but a drunk driver may do so without an ounce of remorse until it’s too late.
Accept Designated Driver Responsibilities
There’s nothing wrong with grabbing drinks with friends or enjoying a night out here and there. But drinking and driving should never be part of the festivities. If you are a social drinker, set up a designated driver system with friends or loved ones to ensure everyone gets home safely.
And if you’re a non-drinker, accept those duties without fail. You could even make free food and soda for the DD part of the deal. If everyone’s drinking, however, call an Uber or other rideshare option. It’ll help avoid needing to call a competent Michigan car accident attorney to clean up the mess.
Avoid Late Night and Holiday Driving
Holidays in general lure more drivers on the road and many of those have either been drinking or heading to load up on their favorite cocktails. But according to AAA, the 100 deadliest days for teen drivers are between Memorial Day and Labor Day. And according to the National Safety Council (NSC), rush hours–between 3 and 6 PM are high-risk times for general auto accidents.
But drunk or impaired driving is more likely to be a problem during darker hours–specifically midnight to 3 AM and over the weekends. So avoid those times to play it safe. And always keep the number of your Michigan car accident attorney close just in case there’s a problem.