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What Do I Do if I Am Hit by a Drunk Driver During Thanksgiving?

The Thanksgiving holiday ushers in a period of increased drunk driving arrests lasting through New Year’s Day. As we get closer to the holiday season, our San Jose personal injury attorney has tips to help you avoid drunk drivers, as well as information about what to do if you are hit by a drunk driver and injured in a car accident.

How to Avoid Drunk Drivers in the Bay Area

There is no guarantee that you will be able to avoid drunk drivers on the road, especially during the holiday season. However, there are precautions you can take to help you prevent a drunk driving accident. A few of these precautions include:

  • Avoid driving late at night. This is especially true on holidays and on weekends. According to the National Safety Council, impaired drivers are most frequently on the road between midnight and 3 a.m.
  • Maintain a safe distance from other cars. Additionally, you may consider driving on the right side of your lane in case a drunk driver swerves or drifts out of his or her lane.
  • Avoid country roads and two-lane highways at night. These rural roads claim a shocking amount of lives due to drunk drivers.
  • Keep your car well-maintained at all times. You never know when you will need to slam on your brakes or swerve. Tires, brakes, signals, safety features – make sure they all work.
  • Report drunk drivers. If you see suspicious driving behavior, find a safe place to pull over. A safe place includes a parking lot, not on the side of the road. Then, report the behavior to law enforcement immediately. You may save someone’s life.
  • Do not allow friends and family to drink and drive. Before festivities begin, choose a designated driver for the night. You could also spend a few minutes planning a sober ride home.

If I Have Already Been Hit by a Drunk Driver, What Do I Do?

After a drunk driving accident, there are immediate steps you can take. A few of these steps include:

  • Check yourself and passengers for injuries. Before getting out of the car or moving to help someone else, ensure that you do not have visible injuries. Then, check your passengers for injuries. If you or your passengers have visible injuries, call 9-1-1 right away and let them know that you or someone else needs medical attention.
  • Call 9-1-1. Even if no one has visible injuries, you should call 9-1-1. This is especially true if the crash involved a drunk driver. Law enforcement can protect the accident scene, get emergency services on-site and create a police report.
  • Document the scene as best you can. Take photos of the damage and your injuries. Exchange information with all involved parties, and get contact information and statements from witnesses.
  • Seek immediate medical attention. Some car accident injuries are not apparent right away.
  • Speak to a local personal injury attorney. Even if the accident seems minor, you want to make sure that you are protecting your legal rights.

See our full guide about what to do after a car accident here.

Contact Our San Jose Car Accident Lawyer About Your Situation

If you are involved in a Thanksgiving drunk driving accident, we recommend that you speak with an experienced car accident attorney about your situation. We can answer any legal questions you may have and help you to understand your best legal options. Our law firm offers services to injured clients in San Jose and throughout the Bay Area. Schedule a free consultation with us by calling us at (408) 650-8955 or by contacting us online.