If your New Year’s plans involve driving around the Kansas City Area, please exercise special caution. A report by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that 80 people die each New Year’s holiday in drunk driving accidents. Your chances of being killed by a drunk driver on New Year’s are 150 percent higher than on an average day during the holiday season.
Officials are expecting drunk drivers to drive the streets of Kansas City again this year, as some people irresponsibly celebrate the arrival of 2011. Jackson County Sheriff Deputies and Kansas City Law Enforcement have already been cracking down on drunken motorists this holiday season by setting up sobriety checkpoints and putting additional police on patrol.
Drunk driving in Missouri caused 152 fatal motor vehicle accidents and 1,579 crashes causing injuries in 2009. Because of these statistics, the Missouri Department of Transportation (DOT) is encouraging people to drive sober by randomly distributing $20 gas cards to four people who take an online survey posted on the agency’s website during Jan. 3 through Jan. 7.
Some Safety Reminders
New Year’s is about fun and celebration, but it is important to party responsibly. Here are tips to keep in mind over the weekend:
- Ensure your driver is sober: use a designated driver, public transportation or taxis. If you’re the driver, don’t pop the champagne until you’ve safely made it home.
- Assume other drivers are drunk: whether you are driving or walking around Kansas City, exercise caution near all vehicles.
- Prevent others from drunk driving: Tell them about the statistics above concerning drunk driving on New Year’s or the increased law enforcement effort. If they don’t want to pay for a cab, tell them that a DUI costs about ten thousand dollars, assuming you don’t crash or hurt others.
Sadly, not everyone will drink responsibly this New Year’s. If you or a loved one is injured or killed by a drunk driver, contact a skilled Kansas City personal injury attorney to help you hold the driver accountable for the tragedy he or she caused.