Defensive Driving on New Year's Eve: Protection from Auto Accidents Caused by Drunk Drivers in Georgia


January 04, 2011

Despite monumental strides in the campaign to reduce the number of car accidents caused by drunk drivers, drivers impaired by alcohol continue to cause the death of almost 14,000 Americans per year. Alcohol related car crashes account for approximately 37% of all motor vehicle fatalities. The risk of a drunk driving auto accident is never greater than on New Year's Eve when the number of DUI arrests and alcohol related car accidents spike dramatically.

While a number of strategies including public education campaigns, tougher DUI sentencing and enforcement, zero tolerance policies, restrictions on teen drivers, and DUI checkpoints have reduced the risk of alcohol related accidents, the risk of being involved in a car crash that results in catastrophic injuries or fatalities on New Year's Eve is still far too high. At Montlick and Associates, for over a quarter of a century we have been figthing for the rights of victims of drunk drivers in the Atlanta area and throughout ALL of Georgia who suffer serious injuries or death. We know that while there is always a risk of suffering serious injuries caused by a drunk driver, defensive driving can help reduce the risk of serious Georgia car accidents.

Some public safety advocates divide drunk drivers into three groups that respond to measures designed to curtail drunk driving differently:

• Social Drinkers: These are people who drink mostly in social situations. Social drinkers typically cause car accidents because they are not able to properly assess the impact of alcohol on their driving abilities. Because their behavior is not habitual or related to an addiction, measures designed to discourage drinking and driving typically have a significant impact on their decision to drive.

• High Risk Behavior Seekers: These are people sometimes referred to as "adrenaline junkies", for whom driving while under the influence of alcohol is just another manifestation of risk-taking behavior and may promote reckless driving by removing inhibitions. It is presumed that drunk driving measures are less effective with these drivers so defensive driving can be the best way to avoid a serious car accident with this type of driver.

• Alcoholics (i.e. Addicts): For these individuals, alcohol abuse plays a major role in all of their daily activities so abstaining would require a complete lifestyle change. Because their behavior is a compulsion that they are unable or unwilling to control, these drivers also do not respond as well to drunk driving prevention campaigns and enforcement of legal penalties. Defensive driving is the best way to avoid a serious injury accident with an alcoholic.

The bottom line is that the best way to avoid a car accident with drivers who are most prone to drink and drive is for sober drivers to employ defensive driving tactics. Some drunk drivers are simply unwilling to appreciate the risk posed by their behavior or indifferent to the carnage that their conduct can cause. Defensive driving tactics can be indispensible in avoiding a serious Georgia auto accident with a drunk or impaired driver. This is never truer than on holidays like New Year's Eve, that commonly involve traveling to parties where alcohol consumption is prevalent. A number of defensive driving tactics that can help protect you from drunk drivers include:

• Keep a Lookout for Drunk Drivers: Drunk drivers often perform a wide variety of unsafe driving maneuvers before being involved in a car wreck. If you are particularly attentive when driving on New Year's Eve, you may notice a driver swerving or drifting into the wrong lane or straddling the line between lanes, driving in the opposite direction of traffic, stopping erratically, and/or responding slowly to signals, obstructions or other vehicles.

• Be Prepared and Alert: You should make sure you do not engage in any practice that could lead to distracted driving. While driving on New Year's Eve focus all of your attention on the road and potential obstacles; you should be prepared for quick evasive action.

• Stay Clear of Erratic Drivers: You should slow down and let a suspected drunk driver pass or keep as much distance as possible between your vehicles. If you see a drunk driver coming directly toward you creating the possibility of a head-on collision, pull off the road when safe, sound your horn and flash your lights.

• Call 911 and Report the Driver: Your call to 911 may alert the police in time to get a drunk driver off the road before a serious car crash that leads to severe injuries including traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, fractures or broken bones, internal organ damage and even death.

At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we know that the adage about "an ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure" is all too true. These simple tips can help protect you from drunk drivers and make your New Year's Eve a safe one. Regardless of how safe you drive, sometimes drunk driving accidents cannot be avoided. If you are involved in a Georgia drunk driving accident, contact Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law to learn how we can help. We have been protecting the rights of drunk driving accident victims throughout Georgia for over 25 years. Our Georgia drunk driving car accident attorneys are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Dalton, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. Call us today for your free consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333) or visit us on the web at www.montlick.com. No matter where you are, we are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you.

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.