The holiday season is here, which means that drivers should be extra careful when driving on Worcester’s busy roads and highways. The holiday period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is often one of the most dangerous times for drivers due to high numbers of impaired drivers on the roads.
Driver impairment comes from both alcohol and drug use, as well as drowsy driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 209 drunk driving-related deaths between the Christmas and New Year’s periods in 2020.
Additionally, between 2019 and 2021, approximately 26% of drivers who were killed or seriously injured in an accident had drugs in their system. These numbers typically spike during the holiday season.
Some legal prescription drugs cause impairment and even though marijuana use may be legal, it can still cause impairment, which means you should not be driving.
Drunk or high driving
You can do your part to avoid becoming an impaired driver from drugs or alcohol. Always have a plan for how you are going to get home.
The plan should be more than deciding that you will not drink or will only have “one or two.” Sometimes people end up having more drinks than they intended and realize they did not have a backup plan for getting home.
Use a rideshare service or call a friend. If you are the designated driver, do not drink at all. Watch for other drivers who appear to be impaired and avoid them. Consider pulling over to a safe place and calling the police and alerting them to the danger posed by the driver.
Drowsy driving is also a serious problem during the holidays. Many drivers get behind the wheel after a long, exhausting night at a holiday event and daily schedules become much more packed and hectic.
It is easy to become a drowsy driver because you may not notice the signs until it is too late. Some common signs of drowsy driving include yawning, nodding off, difficulty focusing, daydreaming or not remembering the last couple of miles you drove.
Drifting out of your lane, tailgating other vehicles or hitting rumble strips on the side of the road are also signs of drowsy driving. If you experience any of these signs, you should pull over to a safe place and have a cup of coffee or take a 20-minute nap. Do not over caffeinate, as that can provide you with short-term energy that leads to more drowsiness.
The impact of an impaired driving crash is huge. You may experience enormous physical, mental and financial losses from property damage, medical expenses and lost wages.
Impaired driving is negligent driving and negligent drivers should be held accountable for their actions that seriously injure other innocent drivers.
Compensation can provide you with the relief you need if you are the victim of an impaired driving accident, allowing you to focus on healing and rebuilding your life. Knowing how to prove negligence is crucial, especially if the impaired driver tries to claim that your actions caused the accident.