Many people drink alcohol as a way to celebrate or to unwind after a long day. When people handle the consumption of alcohol responsibly, it can be a pleasant addition to other activities. Unfortunately, people don't always adhere to safety guidelines.
If you've ever encountered a possibly drunk driver on the road here in West Virginia, you know how scary that can be. You may have wondered if there is any way to protect yourself from getting into a car accident with an intoxicated driver. While no foolproof solution exists, experts have tips that you and your loved ones can use to decrease the chances of that happening.
What you can do in your car
Some of the suggestions to keep yourself safe line up with general good driving habits. Wearing your seat belt can protect you if you're unlucky enough to have an accident. Seat belt use decreases the chance a crash will prove fatal by about 50%. Also, ensuring that you leave a large following distance between you and the car in front of you gives you more time to respond to other drivers' behavior.
When you approach an intersection, make sure to check very carefully that it is clear, and use caution when entering it. Some intoxicated drivers drive right through stop signs and red lights. Another helpful tip is to try not to drive late at night, whenever possible. Accidents with drunk drivers often happen on evenings and weekends. Holidays also see a rise in car accidents.
What you can do outside your car
One easy way to reduce the likelihood of having a drunk driving accident is for you to be a designated driver. Back in the 1980s, when the idea of having a designated driver developed, it actually reduced drunk driving fatalities by almost a quarter in only four years. If you know you're staying sober, that will be one less intoxicated driver on the roadways.
Though it's popular to warn others about the location of police checkpoints, doing so is unhelpful. They exist to keep drunk drivers off the roads. While you may think you're only telling one or two friends, it doesn't take long for word to spread, meaning the officers can't use them to protect people.
If a drunk driver causes you injury
Even with all of these precautions, car accidents involving drunk drivers happen every day. You may feel helpless after it happens to you or someone you love, but there are ways to hold those responsible accountable. Seeking the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney is a great place to start.