Alcohol-related accidents are a very serious concern throughout any holiday weekend. The combination of more people on the roads and higher rates of alcohol consumption greatly increases the risk of wrecks. With Labor Day fast approaching, organizations like the National Highway Traffic Association (NHTSA) are pushing public awareness campaigns to decrease drunk driving accidents.
A 2016 NHTSA report showed that deaths by drunk driving had increased nationally as well as in South Carolina. Their statistics revealed that from 2015 to 2016, DUI driving fatalities were up by 1.7 percent from 10,320 to 10,497. There were 331 drunk driving deaths recorded in South Carolina that same year, up from 24 in 2015. South Carolina ranks sixth in the country for alcohol-related driving deaths.
“Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over”
NHTSA’s Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign will be in full force nationwide through September 5. Officials are getting the message out that drunk driving places drivers, their passengers, and others on the road at risk for serious accidents and deaths. The message focuses on driver responsibility and recommends making plans beforehand to prevent intoxicated drivers from getting behind the wheel at all.
Planning ahead to avoid DUI this holiday weekend requires little time and effort and should be done well in advance of any alcohol consumption. Before the holiday party even starts, choose someone who will not be drinking to be the designated driver. If this is not an option, NHTSA offers its SafeRide app, which can contact a friend or taxi. SafeRide is available through Apple’s iTunes store and Google Play for Android – and it should be downloaded and activated while sober.
Law enforcement officers are also increasing traffic patrols by 50 percent over this holiday weekend. This kind of high-visibility enforcement is effective and can decrease drunk driving deaths by up to 20 percent.
More Safety Tips
Those hosting holiday parties also need to focus on preventing drunk driving accidents. Even though a host may not be driving, their guests may end up making a fatal mistake once they leave the festivities. It is not always easy to spot an intoxicated guest, so hosts should always accompany each one to the door as they are leaving; no one should leave the premises without a sober driver. Allowing them to walk out and get behind the wheel is not only dangerous; the host can be liable for a resulting accident under South Carolina’s Social Host Liability Law.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) reports that on average, drunk drivers drive while intoxicated 80 times before being caught by law enforcement. Sober drivers should be aware of others on the road that may be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Swerving, driving too fast or too slow, and erratic lane changes are all signs of impairment. Finally, always wearing a seatbelt is the best protection against drunk drivers.
Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Seek Justice for Drunk Driving Victims
If you have been seriously injured or suffered the wrongful death of a loved one in a drunk driving accident, a Columbia car accident lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. can help. We are highly experienced in drunk driving cases and will fight for your rights. Call us today at 803-929-3600 or toll free at 866-881-8623 or complete an online contact form for a free case evaluation.
We represent individuals and families throughout South Carolina, including those in Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the counties of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.