March 7, 2022
How Can I Drive Safely on St. Patrick’s Day?
If you are a fan of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, you already might have plans for when it arrives on Thursday, March 17. Pub crawls, Irish whiskey, and stout beer often are part of such celebrations with some shepherd’s pie for good measure.
With the popular drinking holiday occurring on a Thursday, you might be among the many who choose to make a three-day weekend of it. The longer the weekend, the more motivated some people will be to drink heavily and possibly drive while drunk.
Almost a third of all driving fatalities in the United States are due to drunk driving. And about 80 percent of drivers who are arrested on St. Patrick’s Day have blood-alcohol levels that are about double the legal limit, the American Addiction Centers reports.
Whether you take part in a local pub crawl or just find yourself driving during peak hours on St. Patrick’s Day, some basic precautions could help you to drive safely and avoid a car accident.
Plan Ahead to Prevent Problems
When you have a good idea of where you are going on St. Patrick’s Day, it helps to plan your routes. Avoiding heavily trafficked streets will help to reduce the potential for accidents. It also could help to prevent stops by the local police.
You should prepare your vehicle and ensure everything is working properly. Faulty equipment might confuse another driver and cause an accident. It also might earn you a ticket from the police.
If the brakes are making squealing sounds, they probably need new brake pads. If the windshield wipers are worn out, new ones could help to keep your vision clear if you get caught in the rain. A weak battery might give out and leave you stranded in a parking lot.
Ensuring your vehicle is in its best possible condition can help to prevent accidents and keep you safe. Also, using seat belts and other vehicle safety systems will help you and your passengers have safe travels.
Reduce Your Potential Driving Distractions
Whether you are driving alone or will have a carload of passengers, you need to keep your distractions minimal. That includes turning off your cellphone and leaving it alone while you are driving.
A carload of rowdy people yelling and playing loud music is a highly distracting situation. You should do your best to keep your passengers calm and use their indoor voices to prevent annoyance as well as distraction.
Adults should be aware of the need to stay calm and act in an orderly manner while you are driving. No one should drink while in your vehicle or use any other inebriating substances in your car. In addition, you should discourage open intoxicants while traveling from one bar to the next.
All passengers should use seat belts. If someone needs to contact your group, one of your passengers should communicate using their phone. Yours should be off and unavailable for talking or texting while driving.
Eat a Good Meal Before Going Out
Fatigue and hunger are two big enemies of drivers on most days. They could be deadly on St. Patrick’s Day. If you are working prior to any planned pub crawl or other activities on the Irish holiday, you should ensure that you are in good shape.
You need to get a good night’s sleep and eat healthful meals during the day. A good dinner or a quality late lunch prior to starting a pub crawl could be highly beneficial.
A full stomach will absorb and digest alcohol better if you decide to have one or two drinks during a long night. Staying hydrated will help you to stay alert and not tire out quickly while driving. It also can help you to stay alert and focus on the road and traffic conditions.
Be Careful with Your Drinks
You should not drink any alcoholic beverages while driving on St. Patrick’s Day. That is especially true if you are carrying passengers who are counting on you to stay sober and keep them safe.
Even when you are drinking only juice, soda water, or a soft drink, it is important to protect it from other people. The danger is not that someone might steal your drink. The danger is that someone might spike your drink with a foreign substance.
Intentional drugging is a pervasive problem and especially on busy and popular party nights such as St. Patrick’s Day. The bigger the city, the bigger the problem. Therefore, you need to closely guard your drinks and those of your companions while you are celebrating.
Pennsylvania’s Dram Shop Act Could Trigger Additional Liabilities
Your best efforts to drive safely do not stop others from drinking and driving. It also does not stop other motorists from driving in a manner that causes an accident with your vehicle.
If another driver gets drunk and strikes your vehicle, that driver is liable for damages. If the vehicle is owned by someone else, the owner also could be liable for damages. So could the establishment that served drinks to a drunk customer.
Pennsylvania’s dram shop law requires the owners and operators of bars and other establishments that serve alcohol to do so in a responsible manner. They are not allowed to serve alcohol to someone who is visibly drunk. They also cannot serve alcohol to anyone under age 21.
The dram shop law does not hold servers and bar owners liable for someone over age 21 getting drunk and causing an accident while driving. However, it does if the driver is under age 21.
An underage drunk driver might party at a local bar on St. Patrick’s Day and then strike your vehicle while on the road. If so, the establishments that served that motorist would be liable for damages from the accident.
Norristown Car Accident Lawyers at Anthony C. Gagliano III, P.C., Help to Hold Liable Parties Accountable for Accidents
If you are injured by another motorist on St. Patrick’s Day or any other time of the year, the experienced Norristown car accident lawyers at Anthony C. Gagliano III, P.C. are available to help you. We will investigate the cause of the accident and be your advocate to secure the compensation for which you are entitled. Call us at 267-861-7100 or visit our website to set up a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia and King of Prussia, we serve clients in Philadelphia, Montgomery County, Delaware County, Bucks County, Chester County, and Norristown.