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Michael A. Gottlieb, P.A.
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Why we're headed into some of the deadliest days on the road

As we head into the holiday season, we're approaching some of the deadliest days of the year on the road for drivers. That's true even here in South Florida where we don't have to deal with the snowy conditions that other Americans face during the winter, because many fatal crashes during this time are alcohol-related.

The evening before Thanksgiving is known as "Black Wednesday." It's a particularly busy night on the bar scene as people take off early from work. Many drink copious amounts of alcohol in a short period of time before heading home. It's a big night for DUIs.

Black Wednesday is the kick-off to Thanksgiving weekend, which is the holiday period with the largest number of drivers on the road. Throughout the country, there are more DUI arrests between Thanksgiving and New Year's than at any other time of the year as holiday gatherings, often infused with alcohol, abound.

According to the U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 40 percent of traffic fatalities over the Christmas and New Year's holidays involve a drunk driver. Even if you think you're playing it safe by walking instead of driving if you've had a few drinks, it's important to remember that pedestrians are victims of holiday drunk drivers as well. If you're walking while intoxicated, you're further increasing your risk of injury.

The sheer number of people in each vehicle on the road over the holiday period may account in part for the high fatality rates over the holidays. If you've been driving drunk and collides with an SUV loaded with family members heading off to visit family or a group of friends or co-workers, a drunk driver can take out numerous people.

Fortunately, with ride sharing apps like Uber, it's easier now than ever not to risk the consequences of a DUI or worse. However, if you are arrested for a DUI, you need to take the matter seriously and not try to navigate the judicial system without experienced legal guidance.

Source: BACTrack, "The Most Dangerous Times on the Road," accessed Nov. 08, 2016

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