Houston, Texas (PRWEB) December 21, 2011
The time between Christmas or Hanukah and the New Year really is the happiest season of all. In general, people tend to be kinder and more thoughtful – even more giving and gracious. It’s as if for a few short weeks we become the people we wanted to be all year round.
Unfortunately, though, Houston personal injury attorney Greg Baumgartner cautions, there is a recurring problem that instantly changes the lives of Houstonians and others – an increase in intoxicated driving during the holiday season. This naturally results in a greater number of injury and wrongful death automobile and truck accidents on local and state roads and highways. As a Houston wrongful death lawyer, I see the consequences of DWI accidents every day. Families are literally torn apart because of drunk driving accidents.
There are ample statistics available to indicate the increase of drunk driving accidents during the holiday season. For instance, the NHTSA (National Highway Transportation Safety Administration) offered the following data:
*Throughout the entire year of 2008 there were 3, 476 deaths on Texas roadways. Of these, thirty-eight percent or 1,320 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes.
*In the year 2009, there was a surprising decrease in the number of highway deaths in Texas. The number fell to 3,071 persons – an overall decline of nearly 13%. However, of those fatalities that occurred over Christmas – 38% were attributed to alcohol impairment. Over the New Year’s holiday – 40% were alcohol related.
The most difficult thing to accept about these statistics is that these numbers represent not only individuals who were themselves intoxicated but (more often than not) people who were victims of drunk drivers – and had not themselves been drinking or driving recklessly in any way.
A number of local, state and federal organizations continue to work relentlessly to impact this problem through repeat public service announcements, an increased law enforcement presence and a combination of fines and other punishments designed to deter the proliferation of drunk drivers on the road.
Texas personal injury attorney Greg Baumgartner created and sponsors stoptexasdrunkdriving.com in an effort to educate Texans about the dangers and real life aftermath of DWI accidents.
Recommendations to all drivers that should help folks to get through the holidays safely:
*First and foremost, don’t drink and drive. It is simply too dangerous. Often the roads are trickier to maneuver thanks to inclement weather. Too, the term ‘impaired driving’ infers that one does not have the ability to assess their own state of sobriety.
*If you plan on going out for an evening of revelry and partying then make reservations in advance for a ride home. Call a taxi service or a friend to advise them what time you believe you will need their services. Spring for a limo if you have to – just don’t slide behind the wheel of a car if you’ve been drinking.
*Plan to spend the night at the home of the host if those arrangements can be made – or book a room at a nearby hotel if you prefer. The cost of a hotel or driving service versus the crushing debt of a drunk-driving accident cannot compare.
*Even if you have NOT been drinking remember that up to 20% of the other drivers on the road probably have – particularly on weekend nights and into the wee hours of the morning. Don’t venture out onto the roadways when there is sure to be an increased presence of drunk drivers out there.
There is probably nothing more painful than the catastrophic injury or loss of a loved one during the holidays due to the negligent actions of another. Remember the slogans, “friends don’t let friends drive drunk” and “don’t ride drunk” especially during the holidays.
Greg Baumgartner is a personal injury attorney in Houston, Texas and the founder of the Baumgartner law firm, which is dedicated to helping personal injury victims seek civil justice. If you would like to speak with a Houston accident attorney call the Baumgartner firm toll free at 1-866-758-4529.