You’re probably getting excited about watching Super Bowl LI being played over in Houston. Unfortunately the consumption of alcohol this Sunday will rival that of the amount guzzled on New Year’s Eve and July 4th.
Why DWIs are a major problem
Here in North Texas, collisions affect the lives of a lot of innocent people. There were over 80,000 crashes in Dallas and Tarrant Counties in 2015!
Worse, statistics show that the number of alcohol-caused deaths in crashes in Dallas are already the fifth highest in any major city — and this is on a normal day (and night).
And our state has the highest number of DWI-caused deaths of any state in this horrible category . According to the NHTSA, Texas had a whopping 1,323 alcohol-impaired traffic deaths in 2015 — 38% of all total traffic fatalities. By comparison, New Jersey, which has 32% the number of people, had a far less percent (8%) and number (111) of these deaths.
And our country has one of the highest rates of intoxicated driver-caused death rates in the world. In 2014, 9,943 people died in drunk driving collisions, or one death every 53 minutes. And this number increased to 10,265 the next year.
The official count for all traffic related fatalities for 2016 won’t be released until later this year, but through the first nine months of last year, this horrible statistic rose another 8% from the year before, so the full year will be another grisly one for DWI fatalities.
So you can see the problem facing us on Sunday.
What you can do to stay safe this weekend
Driving is an extremely dangerous activity. Don’t become a statistic. If you’re hosting a party, here are some tips to keep it fun and safe:
- Offer non-alcohol beverage options
- Stop serving alcohol in the third quarter
- Serve plenty of food
- Don’t be afraid to take away keys from family or friends who may not be safe to drive
And for the MVPs, i.e. the designated drivers:
- Make sure you’re drinking water all night to stay hydrated and that you are not tired
- Don’t let anyone try to drive home alone
- Check to make sure all your passengers are buckled up
- Avoid speeding or distractions as you drive
I frequently blog about driving while intoxicated crashes because I hate drunk drivers and go after them when they crash into my clients. We settled another DWI case for the drive’s full insurance policy limits recently.
As a personal injury lawyer, I have to see first hand the destruction they cause.
Whether you are tuning in at home, a friend’s house, or a bar, please make sure to have a designated driver, cab, or ride-sharing app ready in case you plan to be drinking. Stay safe and watch out for other drunk drivers on the road.
We’ve had another successful week so to thank my staff, I’m closing the office at 4:00 p.m. today. A paralegal who worked for a personal injury law firm in Houston for 12 years is happy just to see her old stadium on Sunday. We’ll be available by phone, email, and text 24/7, as always.
Should you unfortunately be involved in a crash this weekend, contact us immediately so we can help you understand your best legal options. You may be entitled to compensation for any injuries and lost wages you sustain. I certainly hope this doesn’t happen to you.
Enjoy the big game — even if the Cowboys aren’t playing. Next year they will be!