Everyone knows that drinking and driving is dangerous. Yet every year, police across New York State arrest thousands of people for DUI. Here in Staten Island, several innocent people get killed or permanently disabled each year at the hands of drunk drivers. They and their loved ones suffer the consequences of someone else’s reckless decision to drive after drinking too much alcohol.

You cannot guarantee that this won’t happen to you, but there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of getting into a DUI car crash. Here are five tips.

  1. Stay off the roads late at night. Drunk driving-related crashes are three times more likely to happen at night. Try to avoid driving late at night as much as possible.
  2. Be careful during certain holidays. For many people, St. Patrick’s Day, the Fourth of July, Memorial Day and Labor Day are holidays that give them the excuse to drink and drive. The holiday season between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is also a popular time for driving under the influence, due to the number of holiday parties and family meals. While you obviously cannot avoid driving at all during these holiday weekends and periods, you should be extra cautious on the road.
  3. Hug the right side of your lane. Drunk drivers often drift over lane lines, sometimes crossing into oncoming traffic. You can buy yourself a little more space to potentially avoid getting sideswiped by a wrong-way driver by keeping to the right-hand edge of your lane. Keep plenty of space between yourself and other vehicles going the same direction as you.
  4. Keep up on vehicle maintenance. In an emergency situation, you need to know you can rely on your vehicle to perform. When it comes to avoiding a drunk driver, this means making sure your tires are properly inflated and in good condition. Replace your tires as they lose tread or develop leaks. Make sure your brakes are in good working order.
  5. Don’t assume the other driver’s actions. Normally, when you see a vehicle with its turn signal on, you can reasonably assume where they are planning to turn. But this is not always true, especially if the driver is drunk. They might have left their signal on or activated it unintentionally. Their judgment could be seriously impaired and they may not know they have to wait until you pass. Whenever possible, wait until the other driver has committed to a turn or other action, especially at night.

As safe and cautious as you are behind the wheel, nothing you do can fully shield yourself and your family from a serious car accident involving drunk driving. What you can control is what happens next. Discuss your legal options for maximum financial recovery with a qualified personal injury attorney