A recent article in the Kansas City Star reported that over the New Year’s holiday weekend, an average of 31 individuals are killed across the nation each day of the holiday in drunk driving accidents. That means, within the span of approximately 48 hours, over 60 individuals lose their lives in collisions caused by intoxicated drivers – more than one per hour. While statistics and past experience might suggest that drunk driving in Kansas will continue through 2017, there is no reason this must be the case. Like other bad driving behaviors that can lead to traffic injuries and deaths, drinking and driving is a choice. This year can be safer for you – and your family – if you decide to practice safe behaviors such as:
- Wearing your seatbelt each and every time you travel. Statistics show that you are more likely to survive a serious traffic collision – and survive with fewer catastrophic injuries – if you wear a seatbelt. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that seat belts saved approximately 12,800 lives in 2014 alone and can reduce the chance of injury or death by approximately half. Not only should you wear a seatbelt, but you should encourage your passengers and your children to wear a seatbelt at all times as well.
- Do Not Drive While Drunk … or While Drowsy … or While Distracted. While attention is paid to drunk driving during the holidays, distracted driving and drowsy driving (that is, driving with too little sleep) are just as dangerous as consuming alcohol and/or drugs before driving. Besides refusing to drink or use drugs before driving, make sure you get enough sleep before driving (even for short trips) and put your cellphone away before embarking on your trip. In addition, avoid the temptation to eat while you are driving – foods such as tacos, pizza, soups, and other similar foods require a great deal of attention and focus to safely eat. Therefore, you should find a safe place to stop your car and consume your meal before continuing on your way.
- Drive defensively. Although it is tempting to violate traffic laws or drive in an aggressive manner to get to your destination faster, the few seconds or minutes you might save on your travel time are not worth the increased risk of a traffic collision that speeding, failing to give other vehicles a proper signal or space when passing, and/or deliberately or inadvertently violating traffic laws can create.
- Take action against other negligent or careless drivers. If you do happen to be involved in a car crash caused by another driver who is driving in a careless manner, take swift action to protect your rights by speaking with a Kansas car wreck attorney. The benefits you receive from an insurance claim settlement may not be sufficient to cover all of your losses and expenses, and there is no reason you ought to bear the financial burden of your medical bills, lost wages, and other losses when these are caused by another’s negligence.
While these behaviors may not completely insulate you from all traffic crashes, your risk of being involved in an injury collision or fatal accident decreases when you decide to drive safely. Michael R. Lawless is dedicated to helping Kansas drivers remain safe and recover compensation for their injuries when they are hurt in car crashes caused by other drivers’ unsafe driving behavior. Contact Kansas Personal Injury Lawyer Michael R. Lawless’s firm today by calling (800) 734-3771 to discuss your car accident and the rights you may be able to exercise.