As Valentine’s Day draws near, love is in the air—but all too often, romantic evenings can be cut short by an unexpected car accident. Like other holidays, Valentine’s Day tends to result in more traffic accidents due to an increase in dangerous behaviors like drinking and driving.
One 2019 study even found that Phoenix had the highest number of traffic deaths on February 14 compared to other U.S. cities. Luckily, you can help keep the holiday sweet and prevent a Valentine’s Day car accident with the following safety tips from the Arizona personal injury lawyers at Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys.
Remember That Alcohol & Driving Don’t Mix
Romantic Valentine’s Day dinners often include champagne or wine, so make sure you arrange for a safe ride home if you decide to drink alcohol. The legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) in Arizona is 0.08. It may only take one or two drinks to reach this limit depending on your age, weight, alcohol tolerance, and other factors—meaning that even just a few glasses of wine before getting behind the wheel could be dangerous.
According to BACtrack, a leading manufacturer of breathalyzers, high BAC readings aren’t uncommon on Valentine’s Day. While it comes as no surprise that New Year’s Day and the Sunday after the Big Game rank as the two highest average BAC days, many are surprised to find out that Valentine’s Day sees the third-highest average BAC readings throughout the course of the year.
Bottom line: If your Valentine’s Day plans include wining and dining, play it safe and utilize a taxi, rideshare, or public transportation. Remember: even when you’re 100% sober on the road, not everyone else will be. Exercise caution, use defensive driving skills, and be sure to report inebriated drivers to Arizona police.
Don’t See Red This Valentine’s Day
Despite the joyful connotation, Valentine’s Day puts some people in a bad mood. Driving while experiencing intense emotions can lead to driving more aggressively or to full-blown road rage.
Aggressive driving is a traffic offense under Arizona law, while the road rage is a criminal one. Both aggressive driving and road rage can have deadly consequences. Aggressive driving can include numerous driving offenses that put both you and other drivers at risk, including speeding, improper passing, excessive lane changing, and aggressive tailgating.
Road rage can include all of these actions, but must also include a “willful and wanton disregard for the safety of others.” This disregard could manifest in an assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon while operating a motor vehicle, or any assault precipitated by an incident that occurred while driving.
Bottom line: If your Valentine’s Day is not going according to plan—maybe you’ve had a lover’s quarrel or found out your dinner reservation was canceled—take a moment to calm down before you get behind the wheel. And if you are confronted by another aggressive driver, do not engage. Get out of the way, avoid eye contact, and report aggressive or reckless drivers to the police to reduce your risk of a Valentine’s Day car accident.
Let Your Date Pick the Music
Distracted driving can easily lead to an Arizona car crash. Keep your eyes and your focus on the road this Valentine’s Day. Avoid distracting behaviors such as:
- Fiddling with the radio
- Talking on the phone or texting while driving
- Eating/drinking while driving
- Putting on makeup or grooming
- Using a navigation system
Bottom line:Most accidents happen near home for a reason. This is often because drivers are more likely to let their guard down and engage in distracted driving behavior when driving in a familiar area—so buckle up, stay vigilant, and let your date be your co-pilot.
Injured in a Valentine’s Day Car Accident?
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a car accident caused by another driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The Phoenix auto accident attorneys at Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys have the skills and experience to help you win your case.
We also have offices located conveniently throughout Arizona for those located in Tucson, Yuma, Chandler, Glendale and beyond. Call us 24/7 at 844-977-1900 to schedule a free consultation regarding your personal injury case. You can also request your free case review online by filling out this simple form, or connect with a representative via LiveChat now.
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