St. Patrick’s Day is a celebration of the Irish in all of us, even if your ancestors never stepped foot on the Emerald Isle. Despite the ongoing pandemic, there are still plenty of fun things to do and they can get started fairly early in the morning on St. Patrick’s Day.
Alcohol is usually incorporated into the festivities every St. Patrick’s Day. Because of this, the rates of drunk driving tend to spike heavily during the holiday. This leads to more accidents, more injuries, and more arrests.
So how can you enjoy your day without falling victim to a drunk driver or even a DUI? How can you avoid needing to call an accident attorney? We’ve put together a guide to help keep you safe this St. Patrick’s Day.
Unfortunately, people die every day in the U.S. as a result of alcohol-related car accidents. St. Patrick’s Day sees these numbers spike every year. In fact, about one-third of motor vehicle accidents on St. Patrick’s Day are the result of a drunk driver.
Here’s an infographic from the folks at Sobering Up that does a great job of laying out the dangers of drinking and driving on St. Patrick’s Day:
As you can see, there’s a direct correlation between participating in the festivities of St. Patrick’s Day and exposure to dangerous behavior.
Avoiding Dangerous Situations
The best thing you can do on St. Patrick’s Day is to avoid dangerous situations. This includes everything from the area in which you are celebrating, to how you travel around, to who you come in contact with.
This requires a hyper-vigilance when you are on the road. Because even if you’re not participating in the celebrations yourself, you can still become the victim of an irresponsible party-goer.
And when it comes to drunk driving, there are certain signs you can watch out for to avoid being a victim and needing to call an accident attorney.
Alcohol has a variety of negative effects on a person’s ability to drive:
- Slower reaction time
- Compromised coordination
- Impaired vision
- Difficulty judging the position of other vehicles
These effects make a drunk driver a danger to everyone else on the road. Not only can they get themselves into an accident, they can take others with them. This is why you should be on the lookout for the signs of an impaired driver.
The most notable sign of an impaired driver is the inability to stay in their lane. They will often swerve from side to side. This can be dangerous to cars in surrounding lanes, or even to pedestrians walking on the side of the road.
Impaired drivers will also have difficulty maintaining a constant speed. Alternating between high and low speeds is a signal that the person driving doesn’t have full control of their faculties.
Anything that shows signs of thoughtlessness or a lack of attention can signify a drunk driver. This includes things like driving without their headlights on at night, failure to use or turn off a turn signal, or suddenly braking for no apparent reason.
So now that you know how to spot a drunk driver, what do you do if you come across one?
The very first thing you should do is put some space between yourself and the impaired driver. Slow down if they are in front of you or speed up (if it’s safe to do so) if you are in front. You don’t want to be in the way if they make a sudden movement.
In no way should you try to take action against the drunk driver. Don’t try to get them to pull over. Don’t try to communicate with them through flashing your lights or rolling down your window.
You should be focused on keeping yourself safe. It is not your responsibility to stop a drunk driver. You don’t know the mind-state of the driver and things could turn dangerous quickly should you choose to intervene.
This is why you should have a passenger call the police. If you’re by yourself, call the police on your own phone. Hands Free Laws allows for phone calls to emergency services in the case of physical danger to other people. A drunk driver can cause fatal damage, so this qualifies as an exemption.
Take note of the make, model, and color of the car. And if you’re behind the vehicle, try to get the license plate but don’t put yourself in harm’s way. Give the police all of this information plus the location and direction of the vehicle.
What to Do in Case of an Accident
An accident attorney can help in the unfortunate case that something goes wrong. Bart Durham Injury Law has been helping victims of drunk driving accidents in the Nashville area for decades. We have the experience and knowledge necessary to get you the help you deserve.