South Bend, IN- There are just seven days to go until Christmas so this weekend will be a busy day on the streets and highways with people rushing around to by those last minute gifts and whatever foodstuffs they’ve been assigned to bring to holiday gatherings. All this busy travel make the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve end up being particularly dangerous times on the road. Not only does traffic increase, but more drivers engage in risky behaviors. Our Indiana accident attorneys would like to discuss two of those behaviors; drunk and drowsy driving.
Christmastime makes many people all warm and fuzzy and it isn’t solely from all the brotherly love floating around this time of the year. For many people that warm and fuzzy feeling is comes from all the alcohol beverages they’ve consumed. The weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are notoriously dangerous times for motorists because people are willing to drive when they have far too many drinks, turning a joyous occasion into heartbreak.
A recent accident in Indiana left one man suffering an injury that could have been fatal if it wasn’t for the swift actions of a responding officer. The accident happened on Friday, November 28th, as Latin McKinney and his sister was attempting to jumpstart his car which had broken down on I-465 outside Indianapolis.
According to the Indy Star, McKinney was standing between the two cars when a drunk driver came barreling towards the two cars parked on the emergency shoulder. His sister yelled for him to get out of the way, and he did, but it was too late. McKinney was struck in the leg and thrown over a guardrail and onto the ground. He was bleeding profusely and could have died, but a swift thinking Indiana State Police Trooper David Ploog stopped the bleeding and bandaged up the young man’s leg. Those actions saved the young man’s life.
The driver who struck McKinney was apprehended and was charged with DUI.
If you want to have a happy holiday, there are steps you can take to keep you and yours safe. The most obvious thing is to NOT drinking and drive. Just don’t do it! Even though you may not feel intoxicated, your driving skills are most likely affected. Should an emergency situation not of your making arise, just a little bit of alcohol can inhibit your ability to react and put your life in danger.
If you see another driver who appears to be intoxicated, call the police with whatever information you have. That information can help take a dangerous driver off the road and keep them from harming others.
At USA Attorneys we’ve frequently discussed the perils of intoxicated driving around the holidays, but that isn’t the only risky behavior drivers are guilty of this time of year. Our Indiana accident attorneys want to warn you about drowsy driving or fatigued driving. This is becoming a major safety issue all year round, and the holidays are no different. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 100,000 traffic accidents are caused by fatigued or drowsy drivers.
It’s easy to get worn down on during the holidays. Most of us don’t have the luxury of taking too much time off during the holidays so we pile all these errands and holiday preparations on top of working long hours. Those long hours of shopping, working and running to and fro can take a toll.
If you’re driving and you get drowsy, don’t fool yourself into thinking blasting the radio, rolling down the window and eating or drinking will help wake you up. It might help in the moment, but the fatigue can easily overcome your best efforts to stay awake. Police and sleep experts recommend that if you are nodding off at the wheel, as soon as you are able to safely do, so pull over somewhere you can snooze for a few or walk around and shake off the drowsy. You may be a little late to your destination, but that’ a lot better than never arriving.

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