The 2015 holiday season is finally upon us. Next week is Thanksgiving, setting up the four-week celebration for end of December. There are a lot of celebrations occurring this period of time. Office parties, gatherings, winter celebrations, sporting events – all have the potential for fun and memories, but they also bring a much higher risk of impaired driving and alcohol related auto accidents in Denver and the surrounding areas. For the majority of us, the holidays are spent in the warmth of our homes and the company of our friends and family. However, there are thousands of people who take the celebrating to extremes. They end up driving impaired. As a result, 40% of the fatal crashes in Colorado
involve alcohol, and nearly 200 people are killed. A staggering 25,000 motorists are arrested for DUI in Colorado every year.
Of the three big holidays – Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years – many are surprised to hear that Thanksgiving is the one with the most fatalities; Christmas ranks second. In fact, between those two holidays alone, an average of 45 fatalities are caused by a driver under the influence of alcohol, and rise to 54 per day over New years. The offices of Mark A. Simon have come up with a few tips to keep your travels safe this season:
- Seatbelts – This should be the world’s biggest no-brainer. But, when looking at the statistics, it seems many people need a steady reminder. Without question, the most serious injuries are caused when drivers and passengers had not been wearing their seatbelts. At no point during a journey in an automobile should you ever take your safety belt off. Accidents happen in a fraction of a second, and you rarely see it coming.
- Winter Driving is Already Dangerous – The winter months in Colorado can be treacherous. As soon as the sun dips behind the Rockies, the temperatures plummet and water freezes. Adding intoxicated drivers to the mix makes for some of the worst-case scenarios. Doing everything you can to winterize your car is essential: snow tires, chains, breaking earlier than normal, and keeping a much more watchful eye on the roads can prevent accidents.
- Recognize the Signs of Impairment – If you’re paying attention and keeping a cool head behind the wheel, you’ll be able to spot the signs of an impaired driver with some basic knowledge. Some of the sign are obvious, such as driving on the wrong side of the road. Other signs, like driving at slow speeds, braking erratically, or driving without headlights on after dark can be mistaken for compensating for icy roads.
Of course you should always use a designated driver if you plan on drinking. In Denver, an average DUI will cost you upwards of $8,000, not to mention the other legal problems if you’re the cause of an accident involving severe bodily harm or death. If you or someone you love has been the victim, contact Mark A. Simon
today for a free consultation.