The holiday season is a time for celebrating with friends and family.
Unfortunately, the time from Thanksgiving to New Year’s generally results in an increased number of auto accidents, both because there are more drivers on the road and because more of those drivers engage in dangerous behaviors like drinking and driving. Unfortunately, a car accident over the holidays can have serious and far-reaching consequences and can change lives forever.
Over the holiday season, our injury attorneys in Tuscaloosa urge every driver to exercise caution. Refraining from drinking and driving or other dangerous behaviors is always important, but never more so than during the festive season when the risk of accidents is highest.
Alabama Drunk Driving Accidents Cost Lives
Despite law-enforcement efforts to enforce drunk driving laws, some drivers who go out for a good time over the holiday season end up driving home drunk. The tragic consequences of Alabama drunk driving accidents can be seen every day in those who are injured and in families who lose loved ones.
One recent reminder of the dangers of drunk driving came on November 26 when Alabama.com reported that a Huntsville man had been sentenced to serve six years in prison as a result of a drunk driving accident.
The accident occurred in May of 2011 and resulted in the death of a 6-year-old who was riding his bike near his home in Monrovia. The 21-year-old driver pled guilty both to manslaughter and to leaving the scene of an accident. He was sentenced to a 20-year split sentence for manslaughter, five years of which would be served in prison. For leaving the scene of the accident, he received a 10-year sentence, one year of which would be served in prison.
Protecting Children Over The Holidays
The case also serves as an important reminder that children are at especially high risk of dying in traffic crashes. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car crashes were the leading cause of death for children ages four to 14 in 2009. During this same year, 179,000 kids under 14 suffered car accident injuries.
In 2010, the number of injuries and the number of fatalities decreased slightly with 171,000 children under 14 suffering injuries. Despite the decrease, however, kids under 14 still accounted for 4 percent of traffic fatalities in 2010 and an average of three kids were killed and 469 injured each day in traffic accidents.
The death of a child, whether in a drunk driving accident or in any type of car crash, is tragic and can shatter the lives of parents and family members who are left behind. Every driver needs to remember the risk to kids when he gets behind the wheel over the holidays and needs to make driving decisions that help to keep children safe.
Of equal importance is protecting your child from defective product injuries, which we will talk about in an upcoming blog.
The Risks of Backover and Parking Lot Accidents During the Holiday Season, Published by Cross & Smith LLC, November 25, 2012
Birmingham Accident Risks Increase as Holidays Approach, Published by Cross & Smith LLC, October 16, 2012