St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday that many look forward to all year. Between parades, hilarious get-ups and green beer – it can be an unforgettable holiday experience. Unfortunately, it can be a dangerous weekend to be out on the roads. Dallas can be a dangerous place in the best of times with a fatal alcohol-related crash just earlier in the week in Fort Worth on Western Lakes Drive. Last weekend a wrong-way driver caused a string of accidents along I-20 on Friday night that left several people critically injured. When an alcohol-filled holiday is thrown into the mix, the results can be deadly.
Social Drinkers Over-Indulge
St. Patty’s Day is particularly perilous because many of the people who are celebrating are not usually heavy drinkers. Straight-laced men and women will suddenly cut loose and end up drinking more than they realize. They may try to get into their cars not realizing how impaired they are. Remember that just because a friend of yours is not the type of person to drive drunk, does not mean that he or she won’t make a potentially life-altering mistake this weekend.
Stay With Friends
One of the best ways to stay safe is to go out with a whole group of friends and keep an eye on each other. If you’re bar hopping double-check and make certain that everyone leaves the bar at the same time. Both men and women need to be vigilant about their drinks. Don’t leave a glass unattended or accept a drink from someone you don’t know if you didn’t see the drink being poured.
If another person or group becomes aggressive, leave the area rather than get involved in an argument. Reach out to a bouncer or to law enforcement if you think the aggressors may be a threat to you or to someone else. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help when it comes to your safety. It’s better to be safe than sorry during large public holidays where strangers are packed in close together.
Keeping Your Eyes Open
When driving or taking public transportation home at the end of the day be extra cautious. You may want to leave more space between you and other cars on the highway in case you have to make a sudden defensive maneuver. Take a second when approaching street lights, even green lights, to check and see if any other cars are coming. Many drunk drivers will run red lights and disregard traffic laws altogether. Consider taking local streets rather than the highway if you’re traveling a short distance. Highways are more prone to speeding wrong-way drivers who mistakenly get on the highway going the opposite direction. Wrong-way drunk driving accidents are among the most catastrophic car crashes. If you or anyone in your car sees a wrong-way driver get to a safe place and inform the police. Your tip could save someone else’s life.