What To Do If You’re Hit by a Drunk Driver | 11.23.2020

In 2018, drunk drivers were responsible for 29 percent of motor vehicle traffic fatalities in the US. While it is illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher in every state, drunk driving continues to occur. Our team of personal injury lawyers in Columbia, South Carolina, has seen firsthand the effects that car accidents, including those involving drunk drivers, have on the people involved and their loved ones.

How Does Alcohol Affect Drivers? 

The typical effects alcohol has on human behavior and predictable effects on driving.
The typical effects alcohol has on human behavior and predictable effects on driving.

This chart from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows the effect that different blood alcohol levels from .02 to .15 typically have on people and their ability to drive.   

How do I spot a drunk or impaired driver?

Spotting a drunk driver in advance can potentially save your life. To spot a drunk or impaired driver, keep an eye out for these behaviors:

  • Quick acceleration or deceleration
  • Randomly breaking
  • Tailgating
  • Weaving, zigzagging, or swerving across the road
  • Inconsistent signaling
  • Straddling the center lane marker
  • Driving with headlights off at night
  • Driving 10+ mph below the speed limit
  • Abrupt/illegal turning
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road

When and where do alcohol-related crashes most commonly occur?

South Carolina Ranked Fifth Deadliest State for Drunk Driving. Image from The Zebra.  

South Carolina is one of the highest-ranking states for drunk driving in the nation. Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Wyoming are also high-ranking states.

According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS), alcohol-related crashes occur at all hours but typically peak at night and on the weekends.

Additionally, the SCDPS 2017 Traffic Collision Fact Book reports December as one of the worst months for fatal collisions in South Carolina, with 78 fatal collisions, 12,195 total collisions, and 83 deaths.

Top holidays with the most DUIs nationally include:

  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas
  • New Year’s
  • St Patrick’s Day

What To Do If You’re Hit by a Drunk Driver:

  1. First, seek medical attention. Your main priority following an accident is getting immediate medical attention. The health and safety of you and those around you always come first.
  2. Find a safe place to wait for the police and emergency medical personnel. After an accident, you should always call 911. If your vehicle is not safe or cannot be moved out of the roadway, find a safe place away from traffic to wait for emergency personnel to arrive. 
  3. Take as many photos as possible. Taking pictures of the scene and everything around it can be critical in preserving important evidence. Take pictures of the vehicles, property damage, nearby traffic signs, witnesses, police officers, the other driver, and their insurance information and license plate. Videos or other documentation of the other driver exhibiting slurred speech, stumbling, or other signs of intoxication is also very valuable if they can be obtained safely. 
  4. Get a copy of the police report. After working with the police and recounting the accident, it is important to ask for a copy of the accident report and their contact information. 
  5. See a doctor. It is important to seek medical attention following a car crash, even if you are not transported from the scene of the accident by EMS. Some symptoms may take a few days to begin. Visiting a doctor and carefully describing the wreck and all symptoms you are experiencing is the only way to be safely and accurately diagnosed.  
  6. Contact a car accident lawyer in your city or state. Our team can help you if you’ve been in an accident with a drunk driver in the state of South Carolina.

CALL (803) 888-2200 TO SPEAK WITH A PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER IN COLUMBIA, SC FOR FREE

Our Columbia SC personal injury attorneys have over 30 years of combined experience fighting for people injured in car and truck accidents across the state. Give us a call today at (803) 888-2200. Your first consultation is always free of charge.

If you’re from out-of-state but were involved in a car accident in South Carolina, we are equipped to speak with you remotely and can help protect your rights. Simply call us at (803) 888-2200.

Author: Joe Thickens

 

Disclaimer: The opinions and ideas in this article are for informational purposes only and are not intended as legal advice. Each case is different and evaluated based on its own particular facts and merits.

Did you learn something from this post? Check out our other posts: Tips for Dealing with an Insurance Company During a Personal Injury Case or 5 Things You Can Do to Help Prevent a Car Accident. Make sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay up-to-date on important news.

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