Prepare for holiday drunk driving now

Texas drivers should get the facts about the dangers of drunk driving during the holidays and learn how to keep themselves and their families safe.

As the holiday season fast approaches, many exciting and wonderful things come to mind for residents in the greater Dallas-Fort Worth area. Time spent with friends and family, whether at home or away, lovely decorations, holiday shopping and more typically top the lists of things to look forward to. Sadly, this time of year also brings with it an increase in drunk driving accidents.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics from 2001 to 2005 show this all too well. A total of 41 percent of drunk driving deaths happened over the New Year's holidays while another 38 percent occurred during the Christmas holidays. Mothers Against Drunk Driving data shows that Texas led the nation in drunk driving deaths in 2011.

The picture in Texas

The NHTSA data for 2012 make it clear that drunk driving is a serious issue in Texas as more than 38 percent of all traffic fatalities resulted from motor vehicle accidents involving alcohol that year. In Dallas County, that number is more than 41 percent.

Records kept by the Texas Department of Transportation give more details regarding holiday drunk driving incidents. The DOT breaks holidays down into a certain span of time and then tracks the number of crashes and fatalities that happen during that time. For the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's in 2013, the following is noted:

  • Over 102 hours for the Fourth of July, 52 drunk driving crashes resulted in 54 fatalities.
  • Over 102 hours for Thanksgiving, 46 drunk driving crashes resulted in 50 fatalities.
  • Over 30 hours for Christmas, 10 drunk driving crashes resulted in 11 fatalities.
  • Over 30 hours for New Year's, 24 drunk driving crashes resulted in 25 fatalities.

The percentage of alcohol-involved accidents over the New Year's holiday far outweighs that of the Fourth of July holiday given the much shorter span of time that New Year's lasted. If the New Year's holiday lasted 102 hours, more than 80 crashes could have happened at the same rate, making this a far deadlier time on the road than Fourth of July.

What can motorists do?

People in Texas should know that they always have the right to seek compensation in the aftermath of an accident. Contacting an attorney promptly is one of the best ways to secure this help. With the winter holiday season fast approaching, making sure that all drivers in your household are aware of their rights and take extra precaution when on the roads is also important.

Keywords: drunk driving, accident, injury