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Did a Drunk Driver Injure You on NYE?
New Year’s Eve is a time for family, friends, and fun with some revelry and high spirits thrown in for good measure. Unfortunately, for some, this sometimes translates into driving while under the influence of alcohol. Drunk and buzzed drivers are dangerous drivers, and when they get behind the wheels of their vehicles, they endanger everyone’s safety. If a drunk driver left you injured on New Year’s Eve, you need an experienced Downey, California, personal injury attorney.
Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over
Every year the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) runs a Drive Sober or Get Pulled Overholiday campaign from the middle of December through New Year’s Eve. The intent is to raise public awareness about the very real dangers of drinking and driving. NHTSA reports that in the five years prior to the Christmas through New Year’s Eve holiday period of 2016, an average of 300 people died in crashes caused by drunk drivers each year. And in the 2016 season alone, 781 people lost their lives in the same way.
Drunk Drivers and the Holidays
People who normally wouldn’t consider getting behind the wheel after a few drinks can let the New Year’s Eve holiday spirit get the best of them – after all ,everybody’s doing it, right? It is precisely this thinking that makes New Year’s eve one of the most dangerous holidays for motorists.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) statistics related to drunk driving are alarming:
- About 28 percent of all U.S. traffic-related deaths in 2016 were alcohol-related.
- Of all self-reported cases of driving while impaired in 2016, only about one percent end in DWI charges.
In other words, drunk drivers are out there all the time, and they are in even greater force on New Year’s Eve.
How Drinking Affects Driving
You know that drinking and driving is a terrible idea, but the physiology behind this is compelling:
- Drunk drivers experience decreased peripheral vision and a diminished capacity to recover from glare on the road.
- People who are intoxicated perform poorly when tracking anything that is visually complex (as is often the case when driving).
- Drunk drivers perform poorly when his or her attention is divided by factors that compete with each other (as often happens when driving).
Pair these physiological responses with the fact that drinking also impairs a driver’s ability to make good decisions (for example, the decision to get behind the wheel in the first place) and the high-spirited groupthink of New Year’s Eve, and you have a recipe for disaster.
If a drunk driver has left you injured on NYE, you know how difficult that is – after all, someone else’s irresponsibility has caused you to suffer damages. Often these damages aren’t limited to property damage to your vehicle and the physical injuries you’ve sustained, but also can include pain and suffering, lost quality of life, and lost wages. You do not, however, have to face this difficult situation alone. An experienced personal injury attorney will aggressively advocate for your rights and for the compensation to which you are entitled.