With 133 fatal car crashes between 2004 and 2018, Florida tops the list of states with the most fatal car accidents occurring on St. Patrick’s Day. Nationwide an average of 100 fatal car accidents are reported on the holiday each year. Second only to Carlsbad, California, Hialeah, which is part of the greater Miami metropolitan area, tops the list of cities with the most drunk driving-related fatalities occurring on St. Patrick’s Day.
Don’t Drink and Drive This St. Patrick’s Day
Despite its religious undertones, St. Patrick’s Day is one of the biggest drinking holidays in the United States. On the holiday, beer sales go up by an average of 174%, while spirits sales increase by 153%. The average drinker will consume 4.2 drinks, and the sobering reality is that most will choose to drive after imbibing. In fact, 75% of fatal car accidents involved a driver who had twice the legal limit of alcohol in their blood.
Revelers typically celebrate the holiday at city-wide parades, street festivals, and Irish pubs. Often, getting to and from celebrations requires some form of transportation, and with public transportation inaccessible to residents of some South Florida neighborhoods planning ahead is the best way to ensure safe travel.
Choose A Designated Driver
When planning to attend St. Patrick’s Day festivities, partygoers should choose a designated driver who has a proven record of safe driving, a valid driver’s license, and current automobile insurance. This individual should not be prone to temptation and can be counted on not to drink alcohol until all of their passengers are safely returned to their homes.
The designated driver can either stay at the festivities or be able to return to the party location when everyone in their group is ready to leave. In the event the designated driver does drink alcohol, at least one other individual in the group should have a ridesharing app downloaded or the number to a taxi service on their phone as a backup plan.
Ridesharing Apps and Taxi Services
In 2021, the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) published a study proving that the ridesharing app Uber reduced the number of drunk driving accidents in a city by 23.8% on Friday and Saturday nights. Ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft are often the alternative transportation methods chosen over taxis due to their relative affordability. Digital Trends also recommends the apps Gett and Curb in their post, “The best rideshare apps in 2023”.
What To Do If You Are The Victim of A Drunk Driving Accident
It is estimated that someone driving under the influence causes thirty to forty percent of the accidents that happen on the roads during St. Patrick’s Day weekend. Even if an individual has planned appropriately by choosing not to imbibe, designating a sober driver, or hiring a rideshare service, there is still a chance they may be involved in an alcohol-related accident on this holiday.
In the event of a drunk driving crash, there are six steps to take.
- Ensure everyone is safe: the driver of a vehicle should check to make sure everyone is safe and unharmed, including those in the other vehicle when possible. If a driver believes that moving their body will result in further injury, they should wait for medical services to arrive.
- Call emergency services: Following any major accident, emergency services should be deployed by calling 9-1-1 immediately. Further, police should always be called to the scene. Officers will make the determination as to whether or not alcohol played a role in the accident.
- Exchange contact information: Drivers who are able should exchange contact information, which includes phone numbers, email addresses, driver’s licenses, and insurance information.
- Take photos: If the driver or a passenger is well enough, they should take photos of the scene of the accident, including both vehicles, the location of the accident, and any injuries sustained due to the collision.
- Receive medical care: Depending on the severity of an individual’s injuries, medical treatment may or may not occur at the scene of the accident. Either way, an individual involved in a car accident must follow up with a doctor. Some injuries become known after the initial trauma. A qualified physician will be able to determine what medical issues were the result of the accident.
- Contact an experienced personal injury attorney: the final step is to contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can help an individual successfully get the compensation and justice they deserve.
Stay Safe This St. Patrick’s Day
For over thirty years, our personal injury law firm has been dedicated to protecting South Florida’s families. We strive to help keep our communities safe through safety resources like this. However, when the unexpected does occur, we are dedicated to helping families through every step of the legal process. Speak to one of our experienced personal injury attorneys at (305) 662-6178.