While drunk driving only accounts for about a quarter of all alcohol-related deaths, drivers who get behind the wheel while intoxicated take the lives of thousands of people each year. For Alcohol Awareness Month this April, we’d like to focus on the fact that all alcohol and other substance abuse-related traffic accidents are preventable accidents—and you can help.
What You Can Do to Prevent Drunk-Driving Accidents
While law enforcement efforts and public-awareness campaigns can go a long way toward preventing drunk driving, there is still a lot you can personally do to reduce the risk, including:
- Never drive when you are intoxicated. You have a responsibility in preventing drunk-driving accidents, and that means never choosing to drink and drive. While many people may believe that it’s okay to drive drunk “once in a while” or if they’re only “buzzed,” there is a real risk of a serious—or even fatal—accident anytime anyone chooses to drive while intoxicated.
- Don’t allow loved ones to drive while intoxicated. Don’t allow friends or family members to get behind the wheel if they’ve been drinking, and refuse to ride with anyone who has been using alcohol or drugs. Don’t forget to also talk to the teens and college students in your family about drunk driving and how to get home safely after a night out.
- Volunteer to be a designated driver. If you are hosting or attending an event that you know will involve a few drinks, consider volunteering to be the sober driver. And if you are acting as a designated driver, don’t forget to take the responsibility seriously. While it might be tempting to take an offered drink or change your mind before the night is over, your loved ones are depending on you to get them home safely.
Despite long-term community efforts to stop drunk drivers, many people are hurt or killed every year on our roads and highways. If you or a family member has been hit and injured by a drunk driver, you may have the right to hold that driver responsible for the costs of your medical bills and other accident-related losses. To learn more about your rights, read through a free copy of our book, The 8 Steps to Follow After Your Illinois Car Accident, or start investigating your case now by calling our law office at 312-332-1400.