Most of us think about driving conditions as factors influenced by traffic, weather and roadway quality or complexity. Ample data clearly prove however, that we ought to expand our definition of driving conditions to include drivers around us, their level of sobriety and distraction, and our own state of mind and sobriety. Increases in vehicular accidents obviously correspond to increased driver intoxication. Traffic and inclement weather undeniably contribute to accidents and motor vehicle fatalities, but year after year, we see that accidents and fatalities cluster around holidays, when alcohol and drug consumption increase. Cinco de Mayo, the Super Bowl and St. Patrick’s Day claim disproportionate number of lives as well.
Summers and Holidays – Contributing to More Accidents and Arrests
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data show that between 2001 and 2005, an average of 36 fatalities occurred per day in the United States owing to alcohol-related accidents. During summers and holidays however those numbers rose dramatically. The weeks leading up to and directly after Christmas saw an average of 45 fatalities from alcohol-related accidents each day, and soared to 54 per day over the New Year’s holiday.
While the lazy days of summer season offer the best weather and driving conditions of the year, the presumed safety is sadly eroded by alcohol-impaired drivers. According to the NHTSA, the summer months see nearly twice the number of automotive deaths than during the rest of the year combined. The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day has been called the ‘100 Deadliest Days’ for teen drivers. Nine of the ten deadliest days for teens fall between May and August and alcohol consumption is the definitive contributing factor.
Too much free time and too little driving experience mingled with distracted driving behaviors leads to unacceptable teen tragedies on our nation’s roads and highways. Beyond driving while intoxicated, cell phones, music, peers and self-grooming claim many young driver’s lives as well as those of other motorists and pedestrians.
Driving Sober and Defensive Driving
So, what does this all mean for you? It means that as a driver sharing the road with an amalgam of other motorists from all demographics, you need to be aware. Look for signs of erratic behavior and keep your distance. Make allowances for weather and road conditions and leave yourself plenty of time. Above all however, don’t engage in the behaviors that have proven time and again to contribute to accidents and fatalities. Drinking, drugs and texting should never be part of your commute.
With so many vehicles merging on and off our roads, accidents are bound to happen. So much of the carnage can be avoided though by simply not engaging in dangerous behaviors. With the availability of taxis and ride sharing apps like Uber and Lift, there is really no need to drive while intoxicated. The price for a one-way fare pales in comparison to a DUI or any other consequence resulting from an accident. The price one pays for causing an accident that results in loss of life is incalculable.
If you find yourself charged with a DUI or as a victim of someone who was driving while intoxicated or distracted, contact the law offices of Richard P. Davies immediately. Your case evaluation is free and your options will be clearly explained by one of Nevada’s best attorneys. Protect your rights, invest in your future and put knowledge and experience to work for you.