Drunk Driving Deaths Skyrocket During Spring Break

Spring break is right around the corner, and for many families this means taking road trips, heading to another state, or having a “staycation” right at home. While this can be the perfect opportunity to relax and spend quality time with your loved ones, it can also be dangerous.

This week of the year has earned a reputation for alcohol consumption and party culture, especially among high school and college-aged people. A byproduct of this is people getting behind the wheel when under the influence. According to nationwide crash data, traffic fatalities increase by about 9.1% in spring break destinations from February to April, while those resulting from drunk driving could see as much as a 23% jump.

Keeping Safety in Mind

The risk of harm that comes with drunk driving is far too great, and it’s important for parents to have meaningful conversations with their teen/young adult children about the dangers of driving under the influence. Although you cannot always be there in person to protect them, you can remind them that staying in the same location, using a rideshare service, or having a designated driver is always safer than getting behind the wheel after a few drinks.

Furthermore, it’s important to teach them to recognize signs of intoxication. Many young people often believe that “buzzed driving” isn’t as egregious and can’t do as much harm. Not only is this false, but it can be dangerous as they may be more susceptible to getting into a vehicle with someone who doesn’t physically appear intoxicated. Even at lower blood alcohol concentration levels (BAC), slurred speech, blurry vision, changes in emotions or aggression levels, and lack of coordination can indicate intoxication.

What to Do If You’ve Been in a Drunk Driving Accident

If you or someone you know has been in a drunk driving accident, seeking medical attention is vital. Even if no one is visibly injured, there could be underlying injuries that are not immediately apparent. Additionally, make sure to contact your local police department as soon as possible and file an incident report. An attorney specializing in drunk driving accidents can also help you or your loved ones get the justice they deserve and financial compensation for medical bills, damages, lost wages, and to protect your future.

Attorney Matt Bretz of Bretz Injury Law has spent over 30 years helping injury victims and their families recover the compensation needed to seek medical treatment, recover lost wages, and protect their future. Mr. Bretz is also on the National Board of Directors for MADD and understands the devastating impact that drunk driving can have on a family.

Contact today to discuss your legal options.

What to Do If You Encounter a Drunk Driver on the Road

Although the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 32 people die in drunk driving-related crashes each day, there are many more people who encounter a drunk driver on the road without a collision occurring. Research shows that about 43% of people admit to driving when under the influence; this is especially true among people aged 40 to 60, as self-reports place them as the group with the highest rate (57%) of drinking and driving.

Everyone wants to get home safely, but sometimes that can feel like a challenge when there are so many hazards on the road. Although no drunk driving accident is the fault of the sober individual, there are things you can do to keep yourself safe when encountering an intoxicated driver on the road. First, it’s important to be able to identify the signs of a drunk driver.

How to Spot a Drunk Driver on the Road

As intoxication levels increase, drivers are much more likely to take risks. This often includes showing severe negligence when behind the wheel, putting others in harm’s way. Some of the most overt signs of an intoxicated driver include:

  • Erratic driving, such as swerving between lanes or drifting into the shoulder
  • Failing to obey speed limits and traffic signs
  • Making wide turns
  • Excessive braking or acceleration
  • Driving without headlights at night

If you believe that someone is driving drunk, it’s important to try to keep a safe distance. Additionally, there are other steps you can take to ensure your safety.

What Do I Do If I Suspect There is a Drunk Driver?

When you encounter a driver who is exhibiting any of the above signs, it’s normal to feel anxious or scared. Sometimes it may feel like you have no options; however, there are several things you can do to protect yourself. First and foremost, if possible, try to exit the roadway. In doing so, keep these steps in mind:

  • Make note of the vehicle’s make and model, as well as the license plate (if able).
  • Pull into a parking lot or to the side of the road. You may find this to be helpful even just to calm yourself down.
  • Call *47, the Kansas Highway Patrol immediate needs line, to report the driver. Try to give them a good idea of where you are geographically (such as specific mile markers and exits) and the direction the vehicle is headed.

If exiting the roadway is not an option, attempt to maintain a greater distance that is safe for your vehicle. Do not try to engage with the driver, follow them, or flash your headlights at them. It’s better to be non-confrontational than to put yourself in more danger. The same goes if they are coming from behind you; although it is often recommended that you move to another lane or the shoulder and wait for the driver to pass you.

In either situation, try to stay within the line of sight of the intoxicated driver and other vehicles. This way, you can better react to potential hazards as they arise.

Drunk Driving Accident? Call Bretz Injury Law.

No one should ever have to feel unsafe on the road. If you or a loved one are ever involved in an accident with a drunk driver, know that you have a right to seek legal assistance.

Bretz Injury Law is here for drivers and their families who have been impacted by impaired drivers. As a member of the National Board of Directors for MADD, Attorney Matt Bretz has a vested interest in keeping our roads free of drunk and drugged individuals and has the resources and knowledge you need to have a successful claim. Call or fill out this short form to schedule your free consultation today.

Slip and Fall Claims on Private vs. Public Property

Slip and fall accidents can occur in a variety of different places, including public buildings, private residences, stores, restaurants, and more. Depending on the location where an accident occurred, the legal process may vary. While working with a slip and fall accident attorney is the most effective way of having a successful claim, it’s also important to understand how these claims are affected by the incident’s location.

Slip and Fall Claims on Private Property

If a slip and fall injury occurs on private property, the homeowner could be liable for any injuries that occurred due to their negligence, and the injured individual may pursue a claim against the homeowner’s insurance policy. In order to prove liability in this instance, it must be demonstrated that the owner of the property knew or should have known about the hazardous condition and failed to take action to remedy it.

This extends to commercial properties as well, such as restaurants or stores. Since these properties are largely privately owned, they must adhere to the same premises liability standards as homeowners.

Slip and Fall Claims on Public Property

When a slip and fall accident occurs on public property, such as in a government building or park, the laws of premises liability may still apply. These laws state that property owners must exercise reasonable care when protecting visitors from hazards. In contrast to private property claims, however, an injured individual may be able to bring a claim against the government. This may make cases more complex and require different evidence.

For example, public records and government policies and regulations can be taken into account. Additionally, if there is prior communication between a government agency or municipality regarding the property the incident occurred on or its hazards, this may be used to show that they were not diligent in remedying the issue. This can make these cases challenging, so it’s important to work with an experienced personal injury attorney who understands the complexities.

Recovering Compensation After a Slip and Fall Accident

Injured individuals may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering after a slip and fall accident. If the other party is found to be liable, they may be required to pay damages in order to cover these costs. An experienced personal injury attorney can help injured individuals pursue their claim against the responsible party, gather essential evidence, and negotiate with insurance companies for a fair settlement.

Bretz Injury Law aims to help injured individuals recover and protect their future following a slip and fall injury. Call today to request a free consultation to discuss your case.