With all the parties and celebrations this time of year, naturally, December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), someone in the United States is killed every 32 minutes by an impaired driver. All of these deaths are completely preventable if the individuals responsible had only made other arrangements and didn’t get behind the wheel. The only way to prevent impaired driving is simple: don’t do it!
It is impossible to predict what will happen when you get in your car and hit the road. Equipping yourself with the knowledge of how to prevent impaired driving and how to recognize it is the first step to staying safe from accidents this holiday season. The Chicago personal injury attorneys at Lerner and Rowe offer these tips to prevent impaired driving.
How to Recognize Impaired Driving
Impaired driving occurs when someone under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs, marijuana, prescription, or over-the-counter drugs operates a vehicle. If you are out driving at any time, especially at night or on the weekends, it is likely that you might encounter an impaired driver. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 13% of weekend and nighttime drivers are driving under the influence of marijuana.
When a person drives impaired, they are acting selfishly and putting everyone else on the road at risk as well as themselves. One of the ways to help prevent impaired driving is to recognize the signs of impaired driving. When others report impaired drivers, it helps to save lives and bring those breaking the law and endangering others to justice.
Ways to recognize impaired driving include:
- Driving too slow or too fast
- Frequent lane changes
- Zigzagging across traffic
- Sudden, fast breaking
- Sudden acceleration
- Driving too close to another car, curb, or other objects
- Driving without headlights and/or tail lights
- Ignoring road signs and traffic lights
- Turning too quickly or too sharply
- Turning too slowly
- Driving on the wrong side of the road
- Driving towards oncoming vehicles
- Illegal turns
If you see a driver showing any of the above indicators, you have reason to assume that they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Then, contact the police immediately and provide them with the make and model of the vehicle, license plate number, and location of the driver.
Impaired Driving and Car Accidents
There are a wide variety of physical and mental effects that drugs and alcohol may have. Alcohol and marijuana, both of which have depressive effects, may impair cognitive, motor, and reflex functions.
Driver aggression and recklessness have been linked to the use of stimulants like cocaine and methamphetamine. No matter what substance an impaired driver is using, they are still a threat to everyone on the road. Impaired drivers are known to cause a variety of accidents, including rear-end collisions and head-on collisions.
It is common for impaired drivers to be involved in pedestrian accidents as the driver will likely have blurred vision and not see someone crossing the street.
These are just a few of the types of accidents impaired drivers can cause. If you or a loved one have been injured or you’ve lost a loved one due to an accident caused by an impaired driver, contact us today.
Tips to Prevent Impaired Driving
If you plan to go out on the town or will be hosting a party at your home and will be parking in alcohol or marijuana, there are a few things you can do ahead of time to prevent impaired driving while celebrating and still having a good time.
- Make a plan ahead of time with your friends on where you plan to go on your night out and how you will get home.
- Have a designated driver with you or arrange for a friend to pick you up later.
- Call a rideshare service or taxi.
- Take advantage of public transportation.
- If you are hosting a party at your home or business, do not allow anyone to drive home while intoxicated. It is possible you could be liable for anyone who leaves your property and has an accident due to premises liability.
- Always call the police and report impaired driving.
Injured By an Impaired Driver? Call Lerner and Rowe
With the above information, you can help prevent impaired driving this holiday season and year round. The only way to prevent impaired driving is to not do it. Even if you don’t drive impaired, someone else will. If that happens and you are injured, you can get the justice and compensation you deserve by contacting the Chicago personal injury attorneys at Lerner and Rowe.
We’ve helped thousands of impaired driving victims win compensation for their injuries. Our team will advocate for your rights and ensure you are awarded a fair settlement. When you are injured, you shouldn’t have to worry about obtaining a fair settlement from the insurance company. Get in touch with us 24/7 so we can do it for you. Thanks to our “no win, no fee” guarantee, you won’t pay unless we win your case.