The holiday season is a wonderful time to enjoy activities around Oklahoma City and Tulsa and to spend time with friends and families. Many people, however, make the choice to celebrate by consuming alcohol. This results in a significant increase in the number of deaths caused by intoxicated motorists over the holiday season.
A personal injury lawyer knows that the period from Thanksgiving to New Years is one of the most dangerous times on the road. Drivers need to make a commitment to make smart choices during this holiday period to ensure that they do not put themselves and others at risk of injury or death.
Preventing Holiday Season Collisions By Staying Sober
To draw attention to the problems of impaired driving and to encourage motorists to make a commitment to avoid drunk driving during the holidays, Mothers Against Drunk Driving has organized a campaign called "Tie One On for Safety." This campaign, which is in its 26th year, gets its name from the expression "to tie one on," which normally means going out to having a drink. In MADD's case, however, motorists are supposed to attach a red ribbon sticker to their vehicles.
The red ribbon they are "tying on" signifies the commitment to stay sober as well as signifies respect and appreciation for law enforcement, who step up enforcement efforts during the holidays in order to be better able to catch impaired drivers.
The campaign is organized for the holidays because there is a major increase in the number of deaths and injuries due to drunk driving during the festive season. Over the course of all of 2010, for example, just 31 percent of fatalities in motor vehicle collisions happened because of impaired drivers. Over the Christmas weekend, however, a total of 37 percent of the fatal accidents involved an impaired driver. New Years was even worse, with 48 percent of fatalities attributed to impaired driving.
The Christmas weekend is defined as Christmas Eve, Christmas and the holiday weekend that immediately surrounds the holiday. Over this period of time in 2010, there were 96 fatalities in drunk driving collisions. During the same year, there were 143 people killed in drunk driving collisions during the New Years holiday period. The New Years holiday period is defined as New Years Eve, New Years day and the surrounding holiday weekend.
Many people also died in prior years. In 2009, there were 95 people killed over Christmas while there were 138 fatalities due to drunk drivers during this holiday in 2008. In 2009, there were also 185 fatalities attributed to impaired driving over New Years while 175 people lost their lives on New Years in 2008.
Motorists should look to the red ribbons as a reminder of their obligation not to consume alcohol and drive. It is a smart idea to make sure to line up a designated driver before going out to have a drink for the holidays. Those who host holiday gatherings should also be aware of the added risks of drunk driving and should make sure their guests have a safe way home as well as some non-alcoholic drinks available to consume.
An attorney at Lawter & Associates, Attorneys at Law, PLLC can help after a motor vehicle accident. Call 866-584-1027 or 866-584-1028 for a free case evaluation. Serving Tulsa, Oklahoma City and surrounding areas.