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MADD Sounds the Alarm On Impaired Driving in December

Car keys and glass of alcohol on table in pub or restaurant.

Alcohol-related crashes spike during the holidays.

Alcohol-related accidents experience a notable surge during the holiday season in Oklahoma and throughout the U.S., making this month one of the most dangerous periods on the road.

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), December witnesses a significant uptick in impaired drivers, contributing to a substantial number of car accidents. This concerning trend has prompted MADD, alongside numerous other organizations, to prioritize driver awareness during this month, shedding light on the hazards of drunk driving during the holiday season.

"Two of the most celebrated dates in December – Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve – are also among the most dangerous," MADD said in a recent statement. "That is why Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is teaming up with law enforcement agencies across the country throughout the month of December, which has been recognized as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month for the 39th consecutive year."

Organizations educate drivers about drunk driving

Multiple organizations are actively engaged in raising awareness about the dangers of drunk driving this month. In addition to MADD, the National Safety Council (NSC) and the National Road Safety Foundation are integral participants in the National Impaired Driving Prevention Month initiative,

The National Road Safety Foundation highlights the year-end holiday period, spanning from Thanksgiving through New Year's, as one of the most hazardous times on U.S. roads and highways. They emphasize that this elevated risk is attributable to a combination of factors, including impairment caused by alcohol and drugs.

How common are drunk driving crashes in December?

The prevalence of drunk driving incidents during December has reached alarming levels in recent years. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), between 2017 and 2021, there were a staggering 4,500 car accident fatalities nationwide attributed to drunk drivers in the month of December alone. The most concerning statistic within this five-year period is from December 2021, when impaired drivers were responsible for 1,013 car accident fatalities.

Preventing drunk driving during the holidays

Efforts to curb drunk driving during the holiday season are being ramped up through collaborative initiatives involving state and local law enforcement agencies in conjunction with the NHTSA. The "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" program represents a heightened level of vigilance by law enforcement, with increased patrols to identify and apprehend drivers exhibiting signs of impairment.

Recognizing the warning signs of drunk driving is crucial in this endeavor. Some of the telltale signs of drunk driving include:

  • Erratic lane behavior: Drunk drivers may weave or fail to maintain a straight driving line, displaying a lack of control over their vehicle.
  • Speed variations: Vehicles operating at significantly lower or higher speeds than the posted limits can be indicative of impaired driving.
  • Erratic maneuvers: Drunk drivers often exhibit unpredictable behavior, such as abrupt lane changes without signaling or crossing the centerline on two-lane roads, posing a danger to themselves and others on the road.

Police aren't the only ones doing their part to prevent drunk driving accidents. Drivers in Oklahoma and across the nation can make a difference as well. And according to MADD, the best way to do that is by planning ahead before you go out to celebrate the season with family and friends.

"We're asking everyone to take personal responsibility this holiday season by making a plan for a safe ride home before your celebrations begin," MADD says. "Designate a non-drinking, unimpaired driver. Take a taxi, a bus, or a train. Use a rideshare app like Uber."

What to do if you get hit by a drunk driver in Oklahoma

If you're injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver in Oklahoma, it's crucial to seek experienced legal representation. At Lawter & Associates, Attorneys At Law, PLLC, our dedicated legal team has decades of experience handling complex cases and getting the results our clients deserve.

Our Oklahoma car accident lawyers can investigate the circumstances surrounding the accident, deal with insurance companies, and advocate for the justice and financial compensation you deserve for your medical bills and other accident-related expenses.

To review your potential legal options, contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation with our law firm. With offices in Tulsa and Oklahoma City, we offer legal representation to clients throughout Oklahoma.

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