Thanksgiving is right around the corner, meaning that many of us will be making plans to travel and visit with family and friends. While holiday celebrations often center around festive feasts and football games, it is likely alcohol will also play a role in these gatherings. Whether you enjoy several glasses of wine with dinner or cocktails with friends the night before, it is important to be aware of the potential for drunk driving car accidents. The following offers tips on how to protect yourself and what to do if an accident does occur.
Thanksgiving Drunk Driving Accidents
Thanksgiving may seem innocent enough with its emphasis on family and being grateful for what you have. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most dangerous driving days of the year. With numerous people hitting the roads to visit loved ones, car accidents are more likely. In crashes and collisions, drunk driving is often the biggest contributing factor. According to statistics from the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), an average of nearly 24,000 alcohol-related traffic accidents occur throughout the state annually. In Portland, these types of crashes seem to spike over the Thanksgiving holiday in particular.
It is not just the day of the holiday when drivers are at risk either. Business Insider reports that bars are now embracing what is referred to as ‘Blackout Wednesday’ or ‘Drinksgiving’ as one of the biggest money making nights of the year. As the tradition of going out with friends to binge drink the night before family gatherings has taken off, it has not escaped the notice of law enforcement officials. Expect to see a strong Portland police presence on the road, with numerous stops and DUI traffic checkpoints, both before, during, and after the holiday this year.
Dealing With Drunk Drivers on the Road
Whether you intend to drive across town or across the country over Thanksgiving, the National Safety Council urges you to take the steps necessary to protect yourself:
- Avoid speeding and allow plenty of time to reach your destination;
- Expect increased traffic and refrain from aggressive behaviors such as tailgating and improper passing;
- Keep your attention on the road and avoid distractions, such as cell phones or texting;
- Pick a designated driver or take an Uber home if you intend on drinking.
Be aware of signs another driver may be under the influence, such as weaving in and out of lanes and driving either well below or above the speed limit. If you suspect a drunk driver, pull over and notify law enforcement. If a drunk driving accident does occur, call the police or state highway patrol immediately, exchange information with others involved, and get medical attention for your injuries, even if they appear minor.
Contact Us Today for Help
At the Johnston Law Firm, we help you hold drunk drivers accountable for the injuries you suffer. To discuss how you can get the compensation you need to recover, reach out and contact our Portland drunk driving accident attorneys today by calling (503) 546-3167.