Statistics show spike in drunk driving fatalities during end-of-year period
Police in Naperville and throughout Illinois will be out looking for drunk drivers this holiday season, according to the Naperville Patch. The "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign will see police out in force targeting impaired drivers and people not wearing their seat belts. Safety advocates say that the holiday season at the end of the year often sees a spike in traffic accident fatalities caused by drunk drivers.
Police say their anti-drunk driving enforcement campaign will last from December 19 to January 4. While police will be focusing on arresting anybody caught driving while impaired, they also warn that they will be issuing citations to drivers and passengers who don't buckle up when on the road.
The campaign will see more police on the streets across Illinois looking for such dangerous drivers. The campaign is also being supported by a nationwide advertising campaign against drunk driving over the holidays.
Christmas and New Year's
The focus on preventing drunk driving during the holiday period is not just a coincidence. Statistics show that Christmas and New Year's see big increases in the number of traffic accidents and fatalities attributable to drunk driving. According to Insurance News Net, 40 percent of traffic accident fatalities on Christmas and New Year's are caused by drunk driving. Additionally, federal figures show that while 36 people on average are killed daily in the U.S. by drunk drivers, that figure jumps to 45 and 54 per day for the Christmas and New Year's periods respectively.
The increase is due to two factors: increased traffic as more families travel during the holidays and more end-of-year parties serving alcohol. Given the increased law enforcement and public education campaigns, however, authorities say there are no excuses for drivers who choose to drink and drive. Every party should have a designated driver to ensure people who have been drinking don't end up behind the wheel. Party hosts can also save lives by giving guests a place to sleep instead of allowing them to drive home after drinking.
While the focus for everybody this holiday season should be on having fun and spending time with loved ones, people should also do everything they can to remain safe. As the above story shows, the roads and highways can be dangerous places this time of year and even with more police out in force, some drunk or reckless drivers are bound to slip through the cracks.
Anybody who has been injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver should understand that they have legal options available to them. By talking with a personal injury attorney, drunk driving and other car accident victims will have a better idea of what steps they can take and whether additional compensation can be pursued against any allegedly negligent drivers.