The holiday season in Louisville, Kentucky, should ideally be a festive and joyous time of year. However, it is also marked as one of the most dangerous periods on the road. The primary reason for this heightened danger is the prevalence of drunk drivers, who frequently contribute to severe car accidents during the holiday season.
"It is never acceptable to drive impaired," Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Jim Gray said earlier this year in an interview with KSAZ 3 News. "Drivers must understand that drugs and alcohol not only hinder your ability to drive but also affect your judgment about whether you can or should drive. You may think you're fine, but impairment slows judgment, coordination, and reaction times."
Gray's interview was about Kentucky participating in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nationwide campaign called "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over," which continues this month through the holidays.
Drunk driving accidents during the holidays are a major problem
Gray's previous interview this year primarily addressed drunk driving accidents during Labor Day weekend in Kentucky. However, it's crucial to acknowledge that impaired driving accidents continue to be a serious concern during other holidays as well, particularly around Christmas and New Year's.
"Two of the most celebrated dates in December – Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve – are also among the most dangerous," says Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). This is why MADD, the National Safety Council (NSC), and the National Road Safety Foundation have designated December as National Impaired Driving Awareness Month.
The statistics provide a clear picture of the issue. Over the five-year span from 2017 to 2021, drunk drivers were responsible for 4,500 car accident fatalities in December alone. The most alarming statistics emerged in December 2021, with a staggering death toll of 1,013 due to drunk driving incidents, as reported by NHTSA accident data.
What's being done to prevent drunk driving?
The NHTSA's "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign works in conjunction with state and local law enforcement agencies to prevent drunk driving accidents during the holidays, including Christmas and New Year's Eve.
The campaign takes a two-sided approach – education and enforcement. In terms of education, law enforcement officials will be out on the roads reminding drivers about the dangers of driving under the influence. As for enforcement, more police will be out on the roads and pulling over any drivers who appear to be driving under the influence during the holidays.
What can I do to prevent drunk driving accidents?
To ensure road safety in Kentucky during the holiday season, the most effective step drivers can take is to avoid drunk driving and plan ahead.
MADD emphasizes the importance of personal responsibility, urging everyone to make arrangements for a safe ride home before festivities begin. This can include designating a sober driver, utilizing taxi or public transportation services, or using rideshare apps like Uber.
Additionally, if you encounter someone who appears to be driving under the influence, it's crucial to promptly call the police. Your quick action could save lives and prevent a potentially serious or fatal drunk driving accident.
Why should I hire a Louisville car accident attorney?
While accident claims involving drunk drivers may initially appear straightforward, they often evolve into complex legal cases. Despite the clear liability of an impaired driver, their insurance company may be more inclined to contest your claim than provide fair compensation. That's when having an experienced car accident lawyer on your side to protect your rights is essential.
At The Whaley Law Firm in Louisville, we have extensive experience navigating complex cases and can help you pursue justice and financial compensation for your losses. Contact us today for a free consultation, and let us work tirelessly to secure the outcome you need to move forward after an accident caused by an impaired driver.