When you get behind the wheel, you never imagine that your life will significantly change. For some families, this is a tragic reality. Every day, there are approximately 28 fatalities due to drunk driving in the United States; that's one victim every 52 minutes.
The potential hazards and dangers of drunk driving are widely recognized in this day and age, yet people still engage in this horrific practice. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, in 2016, there were roughly 1,059 deaths due to an alcohol-impaired collision.
There are several reasons why driving under the influence is hazardous for yourself and the other drivers on the road. Driving while intoxicated dramatically impairs your ability to drive, leading to slower reaction times, impaired judgment and coordination, and declined visual functions. The dangerous effects of alcohol behind the wheel can lead to life-threatening outcomes: catastrophic injuries, property damage, and even death.
Our Los Angeles Car Accident Attorneys provide you with an essential guide of driving tips to ensure you and your family's safety.
How To Defend Yourself from a Drunk Driver
Often, driving can present significant factors that increase the risk of an accident. You can't predict whether you get struck by a vehicle, but you can take the initiative to protect yourself and any other passengers. Here are some steps you can take to increase your safety from the dangers of a drunk driver.
Buckling your seatbelt correctly can save your life, especially if a drunk driver is involved.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2017 alone, seatbelts saved approximately 14,955 lives and could have saved an additional 2,549 victims if they wore their seat belts. Wearing a seatbelt keeps you secure in your vehicle and significantly reduces the risk of a fatal injury.
To prevent a serious impact from a crash, it’s crucial to protect our most vulnerable – young children, babies, and toddlers by securing them in a car seat. According to Safe Ride For Kids, 46% of children ages 4-7 were using booster seats (either high-backed or backless) and 33% were not properly restrained at the time of a crash.
Maintain a Safe Following Distance
If you are behind a driver swerving in and out of lanes, you can assume that he is under the influence, and it's best to stay clear. Drunk drivers tend to drive erratically and recklessly; keeping a greater distance will give you a better reaction time just in case they decide to slam on their brakes at the last second.
Avoid Driving at Night
The odds of being involved in a drunk driving-related collison significantly increase at night. According to an NHTSA report , two-thirds of all motor vehicle fatalities associated with a drunk driver occurred between the hours of midnight and 3 a.m. To prevent the increased likelihood of getting struck by a drunk driver, try your best to only drive during the daytime when it's less likely to occur.
Be Cautious in Intersections
The NHTSA reveals that 40 percent of collisions in the United States occur at intersections. To ensure your safety on the road, it's recommended to be cautious in intersections to avoid a drunk driving-related crash.
Contact a Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer
Law Offices of Gary Berkovich has over 20 years of legal experience representing victims involved in a motor vehicle accident. We understand how traumatic an accident can be. If you have sustained injuries, let us assist you by focusing on your needs.
If you or a loved one were involved in an accident involving a drunk driver, we can help you. Contact us today at (818) 290-8942 to discuss your case.