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Delaware Launches Campaign To Combat Drunk Driving During The Holidays

Two toy cars in a collision with holiday lights in the background.

Crashes involving drunk drivers are often severe.

Drunk drivers in Delaware contribute significantly to the high number of car accidents during the holiday season, a recurring issue highlighted by the Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS). However, Delaware's experience is not unique, as drunk driving incidents plague the entire nation during this time of year. Nevertheless, Delaware officials are determined to improve the holiday season's safety record and reduce its tragic toll.

"Everybody needs to do their part to make sure that we can all arrive alive," OHS spokesperson Meghan Niddrie said, according to a recent Delaware Online story about the state's efforts to reduce drunk driving during the holidays.

Drunk driving spikes during the holidays

For many decades, the issue of drunk driving has persisted during the period between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve. However, recent years have seen a troubling escalation of this problem. Between 2017 and 2021, there were over 4,500 car accident fatalities caused by drunk drivers in December, as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). An alarming statistic emerged in December 2021, with impaired drivers responsible for 1,013 traffic fatalities nationwide during that month alone.

In response to this concerning trend, prominent organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the National Road Safety Foundation, and the National Safety Council (NSC) have collectively designated December as National Impaired Driving Awareness Month.

"Weekends and holidays can be dangerous times on our roadways," the NSC says. "Two of the most celebrated days of the year, Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, also are among the most deadly. That's why December has been recognized as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month."

What is Delaware doing to prevent drunk driving accidents?

Delaware officials are taking a wide-ranging approach this December to educating drivers about the dangers of drinking and driving. The monthlong educational campaign "will include social media campaigns, appearances by costumed mascots and partnerships with local businesses and organizations all focused on a key message: don't drive under the influence," according to Delaware Online.

Delaware's increased focus on impaired driving arises from the alarming frequency of serious and fatal car accidents caused by drunk drivers within the state. Officials from the Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS), in an interview with Delaware Online, revealed that as of this year, 27 percent of all car accident fatalities in the state can be attributed to drunk drivers.

Furthermore, historical accident data cited by Delaware Online indicates that during the months spanning from October to January, 12 to 14 percent of all drunk driving fatalities in the state typically occur in this relatively brief timeframe.

Preventing drunk driving collisions

Officials in Delaware and at nationwide organizations like MADD agree on one thing – drivers need to plan ahead to avoid causing a drunk driving accident. "We're asking everyone to take personal responsibility this holiday season by making a plan for a safe ride home before your celebrations begin," says MADD. "Designate a non-drinking, unimpaired driver. Take a taxi, a bus, or a train. Use a rideshare app like Uber. If you're a host, provide an alternative to your guests, such as festive, non-alcoholic drinks."

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

Don't simply assume you will be fairly compensated for all your accident-related expenses just because you were injured in a crash with a drunk driver. In most cases, the at-fault driver's insurance company will do everything possible to reduce or deny your injury claim.

That's not right. That's why our Delaware car accident lawyers at Gill, Welsh, and Chamberlain, P.A. want to help. We thoroughly understand how the legal system works in Delaware when it comes to drunk driving accidents. As a result, we can get right to work building a strong legal case for the compensation you deserve. This might be your only opportunity for justice. Make the most of it. Contact our law firm and schedule a free case evaluation.

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