In recent years, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving has become one of the biggest drinking days of the year. This has earned nicknames such as “Blackout Wednesday” and “Drinksgiving,” and many bars, liquor stores, and beer companies now use these nicknames to market their establishments and products.
Unfortunately, this coincides with the fact that Thanksgiving is one of the biggest travel holidays of the year. Combined, these factors mean that drunk drivers are a significant concern on South Carolina’s holidays. Thanksgiving is among the deadliest holidays to drive in the Palmetto State, and South Carolina’s fatal drunk driving accident rates are already well above the national averages.
5 TIPS FOR STAYING SAFE ON THE ROADS DURING THANKSGIVING TRAVEL
With this in mind, we encourage everyone to do what they can to stay safe on South Carolina’s roads this Thanksgiving. Here are five tips motorists can follow to reduce their risk of being involved in an accident with a drunk driver:
1. PLAN TO TRAVEL EARLY
Most people who drink to excess the Wednesday before Thanksgiving do so in the evening. If you can start your Thanksgiving travel early in the day, you can get off of the road before most revelers get behind the wheel.
2. AVOID DRIVING DISTRACTIONS
If you are distracted behind the wheel, you may not notice a drunk driver in time avoids a collision. While no one should ever drive distracted, it is especially important to avoid driving distractions (i.e., phone calls, text messages, and social media updates) during the holiday season.
3. BE ALERT FOR SIGNS OF DRUNK DRIVING
Weaving, tailgating, failing to maintain a consistent speed, and braking suddenly without reason are all telltale signs of drunk driving. If you encounter anyone on the road, who appears to be drunk possibly, be sure to stay a safe distance away.
4. ERR ON THE SIDE OF CAUTION
Whether you pass a bar with a crowded parking lot or you encounter someone weaving on the highway, it is always best to err on the side of caution. If a driver who appears to be drunk approaches your vehicle from behind, change lanes and let them pass. If you need to slow down to keep your distance or avoid potential drunk drivers who might not be able to avoid you, slow down and be prepared to stop if necessary.
5. PRIORITIZE YOUR (AND YOUR PASSENGERS’) SAFETY AT ALL TIMES
While it can be frustrating to have to slow down because of a drunk driver, you should prioritize your (and your passengers’) safety at all times. Even if you end up being late for your Thanksgiving celebrations, it is better to be late than not arrive.
5 TIPS FOR DEALING WITH A DRUNK DRIVING ACCIDENT DURING THANKSGIVING
Sadly, there will be nothing motorists can do to avoid being hit by a drunk driver in many cases. Those who suffer injuries or tragically lose loved ones should:
1. REPORT THE ACCIDENT
Under South Carolina law, drivers are required to report all accidents resulting in injuries or death to the police. If you have not reported the accident already, you should do so as soon as possible. Not only is this important for meeting your legal obligations, but it can also help with proving your claim against the drunk driver.
You will also need to report the accident to your insurance company. While this isn’t required by law, it is almost certainly required by the terms of your policy. In general, the sooner you report the accident, the fewer challenges you will face when seeking compensation for the financial and non-financial costs of the accident.
2. SEEK APPROPRIATE CARE
If you were injured in a drunk driving accident, you should see a doctor right away. If you lost a loved one, you should make sure you take care of your mental health. Overcoming a serious or fatal accident can be a long, difficult, and painful process, and seeking help promptly will give you the best chance of recovering as fully and quickly as possible.
3. TAKE NOTES
The more details you can record about the accident, the better. While the accident is still fresh in your mind, you should take the time to write down everything you can remember. How did the collision occur? What made you suspect the other driver was drunk? Did anyone stop to help? Did the police conduct an on-scene investigation? Any details you can remember will assist your lawyer in assessing your (or your family’s) legal rights.
4. AVOID MISTAKES
Mistakes can be costly when you need to seek financial compensation for a drunk driving accident in South Carolina. As a result, you need to know what mistakes to avoid. For more tips you can use to protect your (or your family’s) legal rights after a drunk driving accident, you can read:
- 10 Things Not to Do After a Car Accident in South Carolina
- 10 Things Not to Say to Your Insurance Adjuster
5. MAKE INFORMED DECISIONS
When you suffer losses from someone else’s poor decision-making during “Blackout Wednesday” or “Drinksgiving,” you need to make informed decisions to protect your legal rights. No matter how clear what happened, recovering just compensation will not be easy. You will need to prove that the other driver was drunk, and you will also need to be able to prove the immediate and long-term costs of the collision.
To avoid costly mistakes and make informed decisions, the best thing you can do is discuss your case with an experienced lawyer. It costs nothing out of pocket, and you won’t have to pay anything at all unless your (or your family’s) case is successful.
CONTACT THE ROCK HILL DRUNK DRIVING ACCIDENT LAWYERS AT LEWIS LAW FIRM
We encourage you to get in touch if you need help recovering after a drunk driving accident in South Carolina during the Thanksgiving holiday. For a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced Rock Hill drunk driving accident lawyer, call 803-327-1103 or request an appointment online now.