Sharing food and drinks with friends and family is an important holiday tradition. Unfortunately, impaired drivers, heavy traffic, hazardous weather and other conditions can increase the odds of being injured in a car accident over the holidays. In fact, the holiday season has become one of the most dangerous times for drivers in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Alcohol is on the table at many holiday gatherings. This can make it easier for drivers to drink more than they intended, and get behind the wheel when they cannot safely do so. That's why many law enforcement agencies across the country increase their DUI enforcement efforts during the holiday season.
But alcohol is not the only substance that can impair a person’s ability to safely operate a vehicle. Drugged driving is becoming an increasingly pervasive problem across America. The Washington Post reports that 2015 was the first year in which drugged driving caused more traffic fatalities than drunk driving. And according to the American Journal of Public Health reports, the number of fatally injured drivers with prescription opioids in their system increased more than seven times between 1995 and 2015.
Drivers in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio, should be aware of the effect that any prescription or recreational drug can have on their ability to drive safely. Even lawful prescription medications which are taken exactly as prescribed can make it unsafe for the user to operate a vehicle. The effect of such medications can also be dramatically enhanced by even a small amount of alcohol. If you are uncertain as to whether you are too impaired to drive, it is always better to be cautious and get a ride instead. Now, more than ever, it is easy to get a ride exactly when and where you need it. Ride sharing applications like Lyft and Uber provide on-demand services that can reduce the inconvenience of waiting.
Other Risk Factors For Holiday Accidents
The holidays often lead to heavy traffic conditions. This too can increase the chances of being involved in a crash. Drivers can protect themselves by the simple act of slowing down. This allows a driver more time to respond to the rapidly-changing road conditions which occur when there are lots of vehicles on the road. Weather is another contributing factor to many car accidents. Winter often brings rain, sleet, ice, and snow to the roads. Again, drivers can reduce the risks posed by these hazards simply by slowing down. Any time a driver’s ability to see is decreased by rain, snow, or nighttime driving, it is critical to have as much time as possible to respond to obstacles in the road.
Drivers in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio should contact our dedicated car accident attorneys immediately after any auto accident - to improve your odds of recovering full damages.