New Year’s Eve is just a few days away, and many of us are ready to celebrate. But with the excitement of a new beginning — and all the accompanying champagne toasts — comes a greater risk of alcohol-related car accidents.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 29 people in the United States die from an alcohol-related car crash each day. That equates to roughly one death every 50 minutes. These crashes cost the U.S. $44 billion every year.

During the holidays, there are inevitably higher numbers of alcohol-impaired drivers out on the roads. One of the most important things you can do to stay safe is to avoid driving while intoxicated yourself. Make a solid plan for the night. If you are the designated driver of your group, practice these tips to reduce the risk of colliding with a drunk driver.

Defensive Driving Tips

  • Avoid tailgating to give yourself enough time to react to others’ driving.
  • Drive more slowly through areas with a lot of foot traffic — many pedestrians might be intoxicated, too, and they may be less inclined to follow basic traffic rules.
  • Avoid distractions — more so than usual, on a night when many other drivers may be intoxicated, it’s important to be focused on what’s ahead rather than what’s on your phone.
  • Similar to avoiding cell phone use, basic driving safety has heightened importance on New Year’s Eve. In other words, think twice about racing through an intersection to make that yellow light. Drive extra cautiously yourself, since there will be plenty of drivers behaving recklessly.

Know the Signs of a Drunk Driver

Whether you’ll be a driver or a pedestrian on New Year’s Eve, you can look out for others and help prevent accidents by knowing how to spot a drunk driver. Calling 911 if you see a driver under the influence can make or break someone else’s safety.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has done thorough research on the visual signs of a drunk driver. These cues are not just for law enforcement officials; by recognizing them yourself, you just may save someone else’s life. They identified four main categories:

  • Problems staying in the proper lane
  • Speed and braking problems
  • Vigilance problems — poor awareness of conditions, such as driving without headlights or using the wrong turn signal
  • Judgment problems — tailgating, changing lanes too quickly, and more

Get Help From a Memphis Car Accident Attorney

I firmly believe it’s important to hold others accountable for their negligence. We all know a horror story — either our own or someone else’s — about the dangers of drunk driving. When someone else’s poor judgement leads to an accident, it’s important to hold them liable. An experienced Memphis car accident attorney can help make sure you get the compensation you deserve.

I have more than 30 years’ experience and a strong track record. Our lawyers understand the physical and the emotional toll of a car accident, and we are here for you. Contact us here or call (901) 327-2100 today.