What is one of the most dangerous nights to be out on our Dallas-Fort Worth roads? That’s easy, it’s New Year’s Eve. While almost all people will make it home safely, a car crash on New Year’s Eve happens far too often.
The National Safety Council has projected that up to 45,000 people will be injured and 427 will lose their lives during this three-day holiday weekend in the United States. That is shocking.
Why does this happen every year?
There are two reasons these huge numbers happen:
- Driving while intoxicated: Too many people drink too much alcohol and cause a car crash on New Year’s Eve. Up to one-half of fatal crashes on this night will be caused by a drunk driver.
- Driving at night: more people will be out, especially since it is on a Friday night this year. Decreased visibility causes many night collisions.
Together, they are a recipe for disaster.
A driver has no way to know how intoxicated they are without a breathalyzer or using an estimate — and how drunk the person driving next to them is.
Sorry to sound like we are party-poopers, but the best way not to be in a car accident on New Year’s Eve is to stay home.
Ways to stay safe:
If you feel like you must go to a party or bar – even with Covid spreading quickly – there are things you can do to protect yourself.
- Don’t drink — or don’t drink very much. Eat some food.
- Don’t drive after 10:00 p.m.
- Drive extra defensively. Avoid interstates.
- Use Uber, Lyft or a designated driver.
- Stay in a hotel or friend’s house.
Repercussions of drunk driving collisions
If you need further motivation, Tarrant and most other counties will be enforcing their no-refusal weekends where the police can make motorists give blood. Tarrant County started doing this every night of the week last year because its DWI rate was out of control. We think every county in Texas should also do this.
How much can a person legally drink? Texas law states that a driver is driving under the influence when their blood alcohol concentration is .08 grams per decaliter (0.08%) or higher. And if a commercial driver or a driver is under 21, this number can go down to 0.00%.
If you are arrested, the cost for an attorney will be at least $2,500 plus other expenses. If convicted, the punishment can be severe, even for a first misdemeanor offense.
And if you are in any car or truck accident, your vehicle and property damage, medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses can be enormous.
DWIs in Dallas-Fort Worth
Driving while intoxicated crashes are a major problem here. We know because our law firm has represented many injured victims. We see their destruction and how they affect and even ruin lives.
And the worst part is that every one is 100% preventable.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving has estimated that over 10,000 people lose their lives due to DWIs every year. Our firm has sponsored MADD for years since we want our roads to be safer.
The Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day period is always one of the worst times for motorists.
We wrote this blog a month ago just after Thanksgiving.
And yesterday at 11:00 — in the morning — a drunk man crashed his car in Arlington and died.
If you are in any car collision, here are steps to take
- Call the police.
- Take a photograph of the other driver’s license plate and vehicle since they may attempt to flee. Document the wrecked vehicles and the scene.
- Exchange and photograph driver’s licenses and insurance information.
- Make sure the police officer gives the other driver a sobriety check if you suspect they might be intoxicated.
- Get the names and contact information for witnesses.
- Seek medical treatment immediately.
- Get the police report.
- Send it to your insurance company and see what coverage you have purchased, especially collision, rental, and personal injury protection (hopefully you will not need to file on uninsured motorist because they have liability coverage).
- Hire a good personal injury lawyer. Do not assume the insurance companies are going to be fair or that you will know how to successfully navigate the insurance/legal/medical system without an experienced professional.
Happy new year
Congratulations – you made it through another difficult year. We all want to celebrate. But please take every precaution to avoid being in a car crash on New Year’s Eve.
If you are involved in a crash at any time, please contact our Fort Worth personal injury law firm. The first consulation is free and no obligation and we only get paid when you do.
Happy new year from Berenson Injury Law.