On St. Patrick’s Day, people demonstrate their appreciation of all things Irish by wearing green, decorating their homes, and preparing a feast. It is also known as one of the most popular drinking holidays in the United States. Unfortunately, this leads to many motorists making irresponsible decisions, including drunk driving.
It should come as no surprise that there is an uptick in drunk driving car accidents on St. Patrick’s Day. According to data from WalletHub, over half of Americans celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in 2020. Over 60 percent of fatal St. Patrick’s Day accidents involve a drunk driver, and close to 70 percent of fatal St. Patrick’s Day car accidents occur between midnight and 6:00 a.m.
Like New Year’s Eve, the Fourth of July, and Labor Day, St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday where copious amounts of alcohol is readily available. People have a tendency to overdo it and then get behind the wheel of their car. While you cannot control how other people celebrate the holiday or the choices they make after they have had too many drinks, you can take proactive steps to make safety a priority and avoid a serious car accident. The following safety tips will help keep you safe on St. Patrick’s Day.
Contact a Rideshare Service
If you plan on going to a restaurant or bar on St. Patrick’s Day, it is highly recommended that you leave your car and your keys at home and get a ride with a rideshare service, like Uber or Lyft. That way, even if you do have a bit too much to drink, you will not need to worry about driving home drunk. In addition, the Uber or Lyft driver will be better able to minimize the risk of a car accident because they are sober and will have the coordination and reflexes necessary to avoid a car accident.
Use Public Transportation
If you live in a city, consider taking public transportation home after a night of celebratory drinking. This is often a much cheaper option than calling a rideshare service or taxi cab. In addition, it may be safer than Uber or Lyft, considering the increased number of drunk drivers on the roads.
Assign a Designated Driver
If you are going out with a group of friends, see if anyone in the group would be willing to stay sober and drive everyone home at the end of the night.
Go Out Early
Consider going to an early dinner or a happy hour instead of staying out until well past midnight, which is when the majority of drunk driving car accidents occur on St. Patrick’s Day. In addition to avoiding many of the intoxicated drivers, driving while it is still light outside also reduces the risk of getting into an accident.
Host a Party
Instead of going out to a crowded bar, consider hosting a party at your house. You can control the number of people who are invited and the amount of alcohol that is served. As the host, it is highly recommended that you hold on to the guests’ car keys. If anyone has had too much to drink, do not give them their keys. Encourage any guests who have had too much to drink to stay the night or help them arrange for a safe ride home by calling a rideshare service.
What Are Examples of Common Drunk Driving Injuries?
Car accidents that are caused by drunk driving often result in very serious, often fatal injuries for a number of reasons. When a motorist is drunk, they are more likely to speed, veer in and out of the lane, tailgate, or engage in other unsafe driving behaviors. This can cause very serious injuries, particularly if the motorist is traveling at a high speed at the time of the accident. The following are examples of the types of injuries that drunk driving car accidents can cause:
- Broken bones, including wrists, arms, legs, and ribs.
- Cuts, bruises, and lacerations.
- Chest and torso injuries.
- Back and neck injuries.
- Loss of limb.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
What Should I Do if I am in a Car Accident on St. Patrick’s Day?
Like any other car accident, it is crucial that you call 911 and report the accident, particularly if there are injuries involved. If you are physically able to do so, it is also very important that you collect as much evidence as possible, including pictures of the accident scene, the damage to your vehicle, your injuries, and any debris on the road. Exchange information with the other motorist and contact your insurance company. Keep in mind, however, that insurance companies are in the business of making money so they will try to avoid a costly settlement. Finally, you are urged to contact an experienced car accident lawyer who can walk you through the claims process. In addition, a car accident lawyer will make sure that your claim is filed within the state’s statute of limitations.
In the state of Georgia, there is a two-year deadline for filing a personal injury claim after a car accident, and a four-year deadline for property damage claims. If a claim is filed two years and one day after the date of the accident, the claim will most likely be denied. The process of filing a claim and collecting all of the necessary evidence can take time. Even if an initial settlement offer is made shortly after you file a claim, it may be a lowball offer, in which case your lawyer will negotiate with the insurance company to obtain the best possible offer.
It is also important to keep in mind that Georgia is a comparative negligence state. When it comes to collecting damages, the amount you will be able to collect will be reduced by the percentage that corresponds to your share of liability. For example, if you are hit by a drunk driver who had too much to drink after celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with friends but you were driving 40 miles per hour in a 25 miles per hour zone at the time of the accident, you may be liable for a percentage of the damages. In other words, if the damages totaled $10,000 and you are liable for 20 percent, you would be eligible for $8,000 in damages. However, if you share 50 percent or more of the fault, Georgia’s modified comparative negligence rule states that you will not be able to recover any damages.
Springfield Car Accident Lawyers at Kicklighter Law Represent Drivers Injured in St. Patrick’s Day Car Accidents
Make sure to take safety precautions this St. Patrick’s Day, especially if you plan to go out for the night. Remember, other drivers may not be as responsible as you. If you have been seriously injured in a drunk driving car accident, do not hesitate to contact one of our experienced Springfield car accident lawyers at Kicklighter Law. We will conduct a thorough investigation into the details of the accident and ensure that the negligent party is held liable for their actions. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 912-754-6003 or contact us online. Located in Springfield, Georgia, we serve clients throughout Effingham County, Savannah, and the surrounding areas.