In the summer, many people throughout Pennsylvania eagerly anticipate vacations, road trips, and gatherings with friends and family. However, there are also certain risks during this season—and one of the most concerning is an increase in drunk driving accidents. According to statistics, the number of alcohol-related incidents tends to surge during the summer months, particularly around holidays and get-togethers.
It’s essential to take specific safety measures to stay protected on the road and understand what to do if you fall victim to a summer drunk driving accident. Seeking the help of a Philadelphia car accident lawyer can safeguard your rights and possible compensation.
Reasons for Summer Drunk Driving Accidents
Drunk driving accidents can occur at any time of the year. But there are several factors that contribute to the rise in drunk driving incidents during the warmer months, such as:
- Summer celebrations. Holidays such as Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and Labor Day often involve celebrations and social gatherings where alcohol consumption is prevalent and are often the most dangerous times on the road. Unfortunately, some individuals may make the irresponsible decision to get behind the wheel after consuming excessive amounts of alcohol, leading to potentially tragic consequences on the roads.
- Summer travel. School vacations and warmer weather prompt people to travel more. Increased traffic and long road trips may lead to higher instances of alcohol-impaired driving.
- Outdoor events. Sunshine and warmer temperatures create an ideal time to enjoy an outdoor event. Unfortunately, these festivities often tempt individuals to indulge in alcoholic beverages, resulting in an elevated risk of drunk driving incidents.
Tips for Staying Safe on the Road
Considering the heightened risk of drunk driving accidents during the summer, it’s crucial to take precautions to protect yourself and others on the road. One of the most essential safety measures is avoiding distractions while driving, as drunk driving accidents can happen anywhere, anytime. It’s vital to stay focused on the road and avoid using cell phones or engaging in activities that may divert your attention.
Plan ahead if you plan to attend parties or events where alcohol will be served, be prepared. You may want to designate a sober driver before the event or use public transportation, rideshare services, or taxis to get home safely. Never get in a car with an intoxicated driver or allow a friend or family member to get behind the wheel if they’ve been drinking.
If you encounter a drunk driver on the road, pull over as soon as possible and call the police to report them. Avoid driving near them and use a different route if possible.
Steps to Take After a Drunk Driving Accident
Despite taking all precautions, collisions still happen. If you find yourself involved in a drunk driving accident, first ensure the safety and well-being of everyone involved and seek immediate medical attention for any injuries, even if they appear minor. Some other crucial steps to take include:
- Call 911. Summon emergency services immediately to the scene so the incident is on record. Make sure to get a copy of the police report for your records and potential claim.
- Gather evidence. Get as much information as possible if you can remain at the accident scene. Exchange contact and insurance details with the other parties involved and take photos of the accident scene and any damages. You’ll also want to collect contact information from any eyewitnesses.
- Avoid confrontations. It’s crucial to avoid confronting the intoxicated driver, as their behavior can be unpredictable or even violent.
- Contact a car accident attorney. Knowledgeable legal counsel can help protect your rights after a summer drunk driving accident and outline your legal options.
Why You Need a Lawyer
Following a drunk driving accident, you may face physical injuries, emotional trauma, property damage, and significant financial burdens. Gaining the expertise of a car accident attorney is instrumental in protecting your rights and securing fair compensation for your losses.
An experienced attorney will thoroughly investigate the accident, gather evidence, and assess liability to build a strong case. They’ll also negotiate a fair accident settlement with the negligent drunken motorist’s insurance company to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve for damages such as:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering