DUI: How to Prevent Accidents Before They Happen
Driving Under the Influence is the third most common cause of roadway accidents, right after distracted driving and speeding. In terms of statistics, approximately 32% of fatal crashes were caused by intoxicated drivers.
DUI accidents can be prevented, though. There are many ways to avoid roadway accidents, aside from just deciding not to drink or use harmful substances before entering the vehicle,. Today, we’re here to talk about simple means to prevent DUI accidents before they happen, so without any further ado, let’s dive in:
Designated drivers save lives
Parties are not as fun to people who are tasked with driving the group home with a dry throat, but they are actually the ones keeping the DUI fatalities from rising at a more rapid rate. Designated drivers are people who are committed to not drinking or using substances at a particular event.
There are several problems with implementing this idea to practice. Some people do not feel too comfortable forfeiting a night out partying so easily; not everyone feels comfortable driving at night; not all people possess a driver’s license.
For groups of people who face these problems, appointing a designated ‘sober’ person may prove to be a viable alternative. The designated sober person can easily hail a cab, walk their drunk/intoxicated friends to their homes, call an ambulance, or generally respond to any situation better.
Hail a cab
One of the easiest ways to avoid a DUI incident is to hail a cab and let a professional drive you home. Although this may not be the most pleasant experience for the other party, the intoxicated person is substantially safer in the back passenger seat than behind a wheel.
However, not all taxi services are willing to drive intoxicated customers; not all taxi drivers can understand the directions of people under the influence of hard liquors or heavy drugs. Finally, not all intoxicated people are able to convey where they are supposed to go.
Regardless of the surrounding circumstances, hailing a cab will ensure that the intoxicated person is in the hands of a sober person. In more difficult scenarios, taxi drivers will simply call an ambulance. It may cost you some money, but it will save your life.
Fasten your seatbelt
Aside from being a legal obligation for all drivers, fastening affects people in several other ways. First and foremost, it’s one of the most reliable mechanisms that are meant to prevent lethal crashes, although minor injuries are sometimes unavoidable.
Another aspect of fastening the seatbelt is psychological. A study performed by H. L. Lindenmaier, C. G. Fischer, and E. H. Kuner has shown that fastening a seatbelt tends to remind drivers of car-related incidents (or at least very likely possibilities that an incident could occur).
Sitting behind the wheel without a seatbelt is almost a confirmation to the impaired mind that little regard is being paid to oneself, dismissing the idea of potential accidents. By buckling up, the driver is reminded of the notion that drunk driving is both dangerous and illegal.
Avoid driving on holidays
The statistics provided by NHTSA state that car-related incidents that occur during some of the major holidays are nearly 20% more frequent in comparison to other dates.
Even completely sober people are at risk of running into impaired drivers on holidays. Summer festivities, New Year celebrations, Independence Day, and similar notable dates are the times where all drivers should exercise extra caution. Ideally, opt for not driving at all unless you absolutely need to.
Consider attending AA meetings
Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings are meant to provide support groups and a sense of community to people who are abusing alcohol. DUI drivers are typically repeat offenders, which is usually a red flag that points out to abuse-related problems.
While most tactics and tips on the list are meant to dissuade people who are already intoxicated from driving, the point of attending AA meetings is to strike the issue at its root. Drinking in moderation can sometimes be healthy, but drinking and driving are never a good match.
Update your car insurance
DUI offenders are in a very unfavorable position when it comes to car insurance. Some of the typical consequences include drastically higher insurance rates or even contract annulment.
Driving without car insurance is extremely risky in itself; driving intoxicated without it can lead to financial ruin. The vast majority of people can’t afford to pay for the expenses of a major car accident without the involvement of an insurance agency, which consequently means that there would be no budget for the hospital bills as well.
Fortunately, there are numerous car insurance companies that offer DUI-specific quotes. Although ensuring your vehicle may not keep you from driving under the influence, it will save enough money in your pocket to treat potential injuries and pay the necessary expenses.
Teach yourself to be talked out of driving while drunk
While social events may sometimes be the reason for drunk driving in the first place, sitting behind the wheel while being alone in the car is one of the worst things you can do. Drugs and alcohol affect everyone differently, but they’re commonly twisting the individual’s spatial awareness and perception of various abilities.
Blurry vision, objects melding in the distance, light sensitivity, and minimal control over muscles and body movements are just some of the reasons why an intoxicated driver can’t be left to their own devices and judgement.
Fortunately, most drunk people are prone to suggestive thoughts and reactions. The idea is to trick yourself into listening to your sober friends, regardless of how many attempts it takes to dissuade you from driving.
Always maintain a safe distance from other drivers
It’s important to maintain a semblance of control while driving while intoxicated; due to the fact that reflexes, perception, and impulses of impaired drivers are different, it’s important to give yourself extra time to react, which can be gained by maintaining a safe distance from other participants in the traffic.
We hope that this rundown was useful to you and that you have learned something new today about how to prevent accidents before they happen. Make sure you are staying safe in these times we are all going through and have a good one, guys!