Drunk drivers are a serious problem. They account for nearly a third of all fatal car accidents. Every single one of these accidents is preventable. All that needs to happen is that the motorist must decide they should not drive after having some alcohol. Unfortunately, all too many people avoid making this prudent decision and instead decide to put their life and the lives of others in jeopardy.
What should concern parents even more is that drunk driving car accident fatalities nearly double on Halloween. Inebriated drivers combined with lots of children running around getting as much candy as possible is a terrible mix. Although not every drunk driving car accident will result in death, each accident has the potential to cause serious and life-altering personal injury.
If You Drink, Do Not Drive
If you are going out with friends for Halloween celebrations or you are going to a friend’s house to enjoy the trick or treaters, you may consume some adult beverages. Everything in moderation is just fine. But if you plan to drink more than usual or if you know you might drink some strong drinks, your best bet is to not drive.
Even if you only have one drink, the alcohol you have can stay in your system and reduce your ability to operate a vehicle safely. Grab a cab or have a friend drive you home. It is simply not worth the risk.
If You Trick or Treat, Stay Alert
Just because a drunk driver makes an awful choice does not mean there is nothing you can do. If you see a drunk driver, call 911. If you are out trick or treating with your children or with friends, stay alert and make sure that no one rushes into the street without looking both ways.
Also stay on the sidewalk and use crosswalks. Be sure that you and your children have reflective clothing. Although your child may not want to wear anything over their Halloween costume, reflective tape can be incorporated into their costume and has the benefit of making them more visible to cars.
Police Have Challenges Catching Drunk Drivers
You may see sobriety checkpoints on Halloween. Although these are tools police use, they are quite ineffective at catching drunk drivers. Not only can drivers simply turn around, but also many police departments publicly announce where they are going to post DUI checkpoints. The police rely heavily on responsible citizens to help catch drunk drivers.
If you take your children out in your car to go trick or treating, keep an eye on other drivers around you. Any motorists swerving in their lane or going too fast in a neighborhood could be evidence of a drunk driver. Calling 911 to report this could end up saving someone’s life.
Tips to Stay Safe on Halloween
- Designate someone as a sober driver.
- If you are a host, make sure your guests have travel arrangements if they are going to be drinking.
- If you are a host, do not be afraid to cut someone off if they have had too much to drink.
- If you are trick or treating, wear reflective clothing and cross the street at a crosswalk.
- If you are trick or treating, keep a close eye on your children and make sure they do not dart into the street.
- If you are driving, keep a slow speed in neighborhoods and when children are around.
What to Do if a Drunk Driver Hits You on Halloween
The most important thing you can do after getting into an accident is to make sure you and your passengers are alright. Your health and safety are of paramount importance. The following tips can help you handle the situation:
- Call 911. Even if you think your injuries are minor, call 911. When you do, the police will come to the accident scene to investigate. If the driver who hit you is visibly intoxicated, the police may cite them, arrest them, and note that they were at fault for the accident. The police will also speak with witnesses who can provide insight into the seconds leading up to your accident.
- Get emergency medical attention. When you call 911, emergency medical personnel will also come to the accident scene. They will evaluate you and treat you for any minor injuries. Depending on the severity of your collision, they may transport you to the hospital for additional medical care. Do not refuse treatment, even if you do not feel any pain. That could be your adrenaline pumping and masking your pain. It is vital that you get the medical attention necessary to promptly treat your injuries.
- Take pictures. Pictures and video can be invaluable. Make sure you get images of the entire accident scene, all vehicles involved, and close-up pictures of your injuries. These pictures can go a long way to proving the suffering you had to endure because of a drunk driver’s negligence.
- Speak with witnesses. Although the police will speak with witnesses and compile that information in their police accident report, not all witnesses will wait around for the police to arrive. Therefore, it is vital that you at least get witness contact information so that your legal team can take statements from the witnesses.
- See your doctor. Your family physician knows you better than anyone and can quickly determine how your car accident injuries have affected your ability to go about your daily life. Your doctor can help you create a plan for your recovery. Your doctor will also keep meticulous records of your injuries, your pain levels, and any setbacks you have had to endure on your path to recovery. These records can provide detailed information about your medical condition and how it impacts your life.
- Keep a journal. Over time, you will not remember the daily struggles you faced on your path to recovery. You will not recall every hurdle or every day that you suffered in agony facing constant pain. By writing every day in a journal, you ensure that you do not forget these important details. Keep notes on your daily pain levels, any medication you had to take, what you were able and not able to do, and how your injuries have impacted your mental state. Being home, out of work, and stuck on the couch can weigh on your mental state, and it is important that you not ignore that part of your recovery.
- Call a lawyer. After getting into a car accident caused by a drunk driver on Halloween, your last thought may be calling a lawyer. However, you may be entitled to compensation from the negligent driver. A lawyer can help you prove that someone else caused your accident and should be liable for your medical bills and other financial losses. Dealing with your physical recovery, especially if you have serious injuries that keep you out of work, can create financial hardship for you, and it becomes all-encompassing. By partnering with a trusted legal advocate, you can shift the legal burden to your lawyer so that you can focus all your effort and energy on your recovery.
Car accidents happen all too frequently. Drunk drivers are a big problem, especially on holidays known for drinking, such as Halloween. If you have been injured by a drunk driver on Halloween, you may be able to collect compensation from that driver for your injuries. The Monmouth County car accident lawyers at Ellis Law can help you collect the compensation you need to get better. For a free consultation, call us at 732-308-0200 or complete our online form. We are located in Freehold, New Jersey, and help clients throughout Freehold, East Brunswick, Toms River, Middletown, Jersey City, Neptune, Hudson County, Union County, Essex County, Monmouth County, Marlboro, and Ocean County, as well as Brooklyn, New York, and New York City.