April is Alcohol Awareness Month – Why it Matters for Road Safety

by Terry Bryant

Every April is Alcohol Awareness Month, which is sponsored by the National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence. This annual awareness campaign seeks to educate people throughout the United State about the impact of alcohol abuse on our communities, our health, and our overall lives. Its focus on curbing alcohol abuse is especially important in Houston, where safety on our roads and highways is often put in jeopardy by drunk drivers. The nine-county Houston area has the unenviable status of leading the way among the nation’s major metropolitan regions when it comes to numbers of drunk driving accidents, injuries, and deaths. A recent analysis shows that our metro area averages over 5,000 impaired driving accidents each year and more than 300 lives are lost because of drunk driving.

You can see why stopping alcohol abuse matters for road safety. So what can you personally do about it?

What Can You Do?

  • Be aware of your own drinking. Pay attention to how much you drink, and don’t drive if you’ve had too much. Instead, call a cab, rideshare service, or a friend for a lift home. Or simply sleep over where you are, if possible.
  • Encourage your friends to be aware of how much they are drinking, and don’t let them get behind the wheel drunk. Offer to drive them home or help them arrange a ride. As a last resort, take their car keys away.
  • If you have teenagers, remind them never to drink and drive or get in a car with a friend who is drinking and driving. Make sure they know that they can always call on you for a ride home from a party or other event.
  • If you are hosting a party yourself, serve food and keep plenty of alternative drinks on hand. You might even consider setting a specific time that the party will end and cutting off alcohol at least an hour before that time.

Protect Yourself on the Road

Even if you don’t drive after drinking, others on the road might not behave as responsibly. To help protect yourself and your family from accidents caused by inebriated drivers, look out for warning signs that a drunk may be at the wheel of another vehicle, and avoid that vehicle. Some common warning signs include weaving outside of marked lanes, abruptly slowing and speeding, stopping for no reason, driving without headlights and running stop signs and traffic lights.

Suspect a Driver is Drunk?

If you see a car on the road and you think the driver might be drunk, safely distance yourself from the vehicle. After getting a safe distance away, call 911. Give the emergency operator as much information as you can about the vehicle, including the street you are on, the direction the car is traveling, and its color, make, model, and license plate number, if possible. By alerting authorities, you may potentially save the driver or an innocent victim down the road from injury or worse.

We’re Here to Help

If you’re the unfortunate victim of a crash caused by a drunk driver and don’t know where to turn, Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law is here to help. Call our experienced Houston injury lawyers at 1 (800) 444-5000 or contact us through our online form.