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­Do Drunk Driving Accidents Increase in the Summer?

Published: Jul 11, 2022 in Drunk Driving, Personal Injury
An East St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer at the Cates Law Firm Can Help Hold Drunk Drivers Accountable.

More criminal charges for drunk driving are filed during the summer months than during any other season of the year. The longer and warmer days, multiple national holidays, and summer vacations for college and high school students enable more people to drive more often during the summer. Those factors also greatly enable more drunk driving than during any other season. Many people enjoy summertime activities that also include the use of alcohol. Long holiday weekends, family gatherings, and outdoor barbecues often include alcohol consumption.

The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) says the daily average for drunk driving fatalities doubles during the summer months. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says the nation averages about 29 alcohol-related driving fatalities every day. With a national daily average of 29 DUI deaths throughout the year, the summertime alcohol-related driving fatalities would average more than 58 per day, after applying the doubling cited by NHTSA.

The increase in the daily average of drunk driving accidents shows how dangerous driving becomes during the summer months.

Three Hours Account for Half of All DUI Offenses

NHTSA says drunk driving fatalities are 3.4 times more likely to occur at night than during the day. More specifically, the hours of midnight to 3 a.m. account for about half of all DUI traffic offenses.

Increased police patrols during the hours when many bars close and people drive home partly add to the potential for a DUI charge occurring between midnight and 3 a.m.  There is no mystery regarding the increase in DUI risks after dark. Most people have finished work, and many unwind with a drink.

Commonly Suffered Injuries in Drunk Driving Accidents

Drunk driving accidents can be especially harmful because of the effect that alcohol has on reaction times and the ability to control a vehicle. A drunk driver typically reacts more slowly to changing driving conditions and is more likely to drift out of the traffic lane.

In addition to death, drunk-driving accidents could cause injuries to the:

  • Spine
  • Head and brain
  • Back and neck
  • Internal organs
  • Limbs or bones

A drunk driving accident can also cause a vehicular fire, and any resulting burn injuries can be fatal.

Speeding adds to the potential for injuries or death in an alcohol-related accident. A potential head-on collision or rollover accident could occur more often during a drunk driving accident, and those accidents are especially deadly.

Commonly Filed Insurance Claims

Accidents caused by drunk drivers can be catastrophic. If you are injured by a drunk driver, you might require hospitalization and extended time away from work.

The cost of medical treatments might include multiple surgeries, hospital visits, and extensive physical therapy. Some injuries could cause a temporary or permanent disability that greatly affects your ability to earn a living.

Fortunately, auto insurance and medical insurance should cover the costs up to policy limits. Those limits can go higher when the accident survivor also is protected by underinsured motorist coverage.

Whatever your health insurance does not cover, auto insurance should pay as medical expenses. Other commonly filed claims might include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost earnings
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Disability, disfigurement, or scarring
  • Property damage

When a husband or wife loses a spouse due to an offending drunk driver’s actions, that person could file a wrongful death claim and ensuing loss of consortium or companionship. There are many more types of claims that an experienced car accident attorney could help you to identify and claim following an accident.

How to Prevent Drunk Driving Accidents During the Summertime?

The best way to reduce the number of drunk drivers on the roadways is to abstain from driving while intoxicated.

Prevention starts with not drinking alcohol and driving afterward. If you are planning a night out at the bar or attending holiday parties or other events where alcohol is served, you should have a designated driver.

If a designated driver is not available, you should consider a ride-hailing service or a taxi. Those services might not be available where you intend to have your fun, so planning to stay for the night always is also an option.

Staying off the road after sunset can help to reduce the potential for a drunk driver hitting your vehicle. You also should be especially wary when you are at intersections or driving on curvy roads. Drunk drivers often commit errors at intersections and are more error-prone when traversing more challenging sections of roadway.

Whether you are driving or riding as a passenger, it is important to buckle up. Wearing a seatbelt greatly reduces the potential for suffering a serious injury or death during a traffic accident.

What to Do if You Are in an Accident Caused by a Drunk Driver?

If you suffer injuries or property damage caused by a drunk driver, you should obtain medical help right away. A trip to the emergency room will help to ensure even seemingly mild injury symptoms are not hiding something more serious, like a traumatic brain injury or spinal damage.

After getting medical treatment, you should file an insurance claim as soon as possible. That might be the day of or the day after the accident. If you suffer especially serious injuries, you might even have to wait until you are physically capable of even placing a phone call to file your insurance claim.

You should obtain a copy of a police report. Odds are the police will respond to the accident scene, administer a breathalyzer on the offending motorist, and likely arrest the drunk driver. The police report should indicate such actions.

An experienced car accident attorney always is a great asset whenever dealing with an offending drunk driver. The attorney can help to uphold your rights, file valid claims, and hold the offending party liable for all damages.

An East St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer at the Cates Law Firm Can Help Hold Drunk Drivers Accountable

If you recently survived an accident caused by a drunk driver, an experienced East St. Louis car accident lawyer at the Cates Law Firm, could help. You can call 618-277-3644 or contact us online to schedule a consultation at our law office in Swansea, Illinois. We represent clients in Belleville, Carbondale, East St. Louis, Granite City, Edwardsville, Chester, Waterloo, St. Louis, Madison County, St. Clair County, Monroe County, and Randolph County.