Drunk driving. A term that most people are familiar with. Almost every day one hears of a terrible accident that was caused due to reckless driving or drunk driving. Of course, the wise thing would be to not drive when you are drunk. But if there do come such circumstances where you are caught in an unfortunate situation, here are some things that you need to keep in mind.
Stay Calm and Controlled
The first aspect to be discussed is what exactly to do if you have gotten yourself into such a situation. First and foremost, stop the vehicle, and focus on calming yourself. Panicking is not going to help handle the situation in any way. Next, turn your attention to the situation at hand. Assess how much damage has been done. Your topmost priority should be your own safety as well as the safety of the passengers if any. In case of any injury, immediately dial 911 and request the aid of the emergency personnel. If you feel that the passengers require immediate attention, try performing the standard First aid procedures. If the passengers are not seriously injured, focus on moving them to a safe place till help arrives. Also, if there are any children, closely supervise them as they are more prone to mental shock. If there is someone seriously injured, do not attempt to move them from the car or even remove their seatbelt. They should be as immobile as possible to prevent any further damage. Of course, do not do this in case the vehicle has a gas leak which could possibly lead to a fire and cause even more serious repercussions.
Prevent escalation of the issue
In a case where the accident happens on a frequently used road, there is still the chance of the situation turning grave if other vehicles on the road collide with yours. So, use good judgement and do all that is possible to prevent the situation from getting even worse. Secondary collisions as they are called are often much more serious than the primary accident itself. If the vehicle cannot immediately be moved away, try making it as inconspicuous as possible so drivers can see it even from a distance. Raise the hood of the car, turn on the hazard lights, set up cones or reflectors or anything else that will help. Be careful of using flares as there is a chance of it leading to vehicle fires.
This brings us to another major threat that can happen during such an accident is the vehicle catching fire. One of the first things that you must do in such a situation is to switch off the ignition to prevent any fire. Remove all inflammable items like lighters, electronic equipment, and the sort from the vehicle. Next, check for gas leaks or any damage near the fuel tank. In case of a leak, move other people and yourself as far away from the vehicle as possible till the time help arrives.
Offer Necessary Assistance
In most cases of drunk driving, the passengers of the other vehicle or pedestrians and joggers become victims and the driver who was drunk escapes with mild to serious injuries. Having understood this, the first thing that the driver needs to do is get the vehicle to come to an absolute standstill. Do not try to drive away as it will only ruin your chances at court and what’s more as you most probably might still be a little drunk, there is a possibility that another accident occurs. So stay calm and focus on making the situation better. In case of serious collisions, do not attempt to move the vehicle until the authorities have finished their work as these types of accidents especially if having caused death are viewed as felony and are punishable by law.
Keep your wits
Whether you are a witness to a drunk driving accident, or someone involved in any way in the accident, do not apologize or admit to doing anything unless you have a lawyer present. This is especially so in the case of the former situation. Do not attempt to confront or argue with the drunk driver as it could lead to an escalation of the conflict at hand. The accident scene is not the place to either make confessions or any other statement that can be used against you legally. Try and hire a good plaintiff law firm, like Schmidt & Clark, to oversee your case and act as per their advice once you’ve kept things unhidden from them.
Contact the authorities ASAP
What is key in all such situations is to immediately contact the police. Do not let anyone convince you otherwise. It is absolutely essential that the authorities reach the place before things are moved or touched so they can do the necessary. The cops are also trained to deal with such situations and even decide whether the accident was a drunk driving incident in the first place. Also, taking photographs and videos of the damaged vehicle and the scene is helpful as it can be used by the jury to not just determine the extent of damage but also analyse situations like the weather, people around and so on to come to a more justified verdict.
To conclude, it all comes down to one thing. Do not drink and drive. Drunk driving accidents more than often cause death and the loss of a loved one is something that no amount of reparation or court verdicts can repay. Also, according to the severity of the accident, the driver is often held on trial with multiple court room visits in between. So, in order to avoid all this, next time you get drunk, do not think twice and call a sober friend or family member or just call an Uber to avoid all such unnecessary hassles.
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