According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), someone dies in a drunk driving accident every 48 minutes, on average, in the United States. Sometimes it is easy to spot a drunk driver on the road, but at other times it is not.
You might be wondering what you can do to improve your chances of becoming the victim of a drunk driver the next time you get behind the wheel. The following tips can reduce your risk of being hurt or killed by an intoxicated, irresponsible motorist.
Wear your seat belt
Your number one defense against injury in a collision is your seat belt. Wear it properly every time you are in the car, whether you are driving or riding as a passenger, and it could save your life.
Keep your distance
If you see someone driving erratically or recklessly, keep your distance. If this driver slams into someone else’s vehicle or another object, you may be able to avoid becoming a casualty by maintaining a safe distance.
Take extra care at intersections
When you come to an intersection, even if the light is green, exercise extreme caution. People who are highly intoxicated may not even see the light, much less register that you actually have the right of way. Not only should you look both ways, but watch for oncoming vehicles that might swerve into your lane as you enter the intersection.
Avoid late-night driving
If you can, avoid driving late at night, especially around the time that the bars close. After last call, the number of drunk drivers on the road may greatly increase, which means your chance of encountering one also increases.
Be cautious around holidays
Whether it is New Year’s Eve, Christmas or the Fourth of July, holidays are often a prime time for drunk driving accidents. If possible, try to reduce your time on the roads during holidays, especially the ones that traditionally include excessive drinking.
While the above tips can help you protect yourself against drunk drivers, it is not always possible to avoid a car accident. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to a wreck with a negligent driver, you might be able to take legal action and sue for the cost of medical care, lost wages and other damages.