- About 6 million people will attend Oktoberfest in Munich this year, and millions more will attend celebrations throughout South Florida.
- This year marks the 185th anniversary of the globally-known event.
- Nationwide, fatal car accidents involving alcohol are above average in October.
A century ago, you may have had to live in Germany to enjoy the thrills of Oktoberfest, but no more. As the weeks-long holiday grew in popularity, it began to expand around the globe, with cities across the country hosting their own events in celebration of the party — and cities in South Florida are no exception.
If you live in or near Miami, you can participate in a craft beer 5K, head over to the Concrete Beach Brewery, visit the Butcher Shop, or even visit the Botanical Gardens. It seems as though everyone and every place is getting in on the good times. There is going to be a lot of beer flowing, and that means that your chances of encountering an impaired driver on the road may be higher than usual.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, someone dies due to alcohol-impaired driving every 48 minutes. Chances are very high that you have driven by an impaired driver without knowing more times than you would feel comfortably.
Unfortunately, as car accident attorneys in Miami, we can tell you that not everyone is lucky enough to remain unaware of the lack of sobriety of the driver next to them. Here’s how you can better prepare yourself for the dangers of unsafe drivers during Oktoberfest.
1. Buckle Up
One of the easiest and safest things you can do when you get in your vehicle is to buckle your seatbelt. A seatbelt will reduce your chance of fatality even if you can’t avoid an impaired driver.
These straps have been shown to reduce the risk of death caused by vehicle collisions by approximately 50 percent. It’s not just a safe habit for drivers. Every passenger in your vehicle should be restrained as well.
2. The Tires Meet the Road
If you believe that a driver ahead of you may be impaired, stay as far behind as you can. At a minimum, you should be able to see that vehicle’s tires meeting the road.
The more room you can put between you and the vehicle, the safer you will be. It’s also a good idea to call law enforcement and report the drunk driver if it’s safe for you to do so.
3. Look Both Ways
It’s not unusual for an impaired driver to speed through an intersection without slowing, much less stopping. Look both ways before you drive through an intersection, even if you have the green light.
Yield to oncoming traffic if you don’t believe they are going to stop. There is no sense in playing “chicken” at an intersection when it’s just as easy to wait a moment and let the speeding car through.
4. Go Home Early
More impaired drivers tend to be on the road late at night and into the early morning hours, so drive early in the evening if you can. Staying off the roads late at night, especially on the weekends, could keep you safe.
It won’t help you avoid all drunk drivers, but you can avoid many.
5. Be the DD
If you are going out for Oktoberfest, offer to be the DD (designated driver). Consider that the party will last for over two weeks.
With a good group of friends, you can all rotate the responsibility, ensuring that everyone gets a chance to sample the German beer that’s sure to be flowing.
6. Use Four-Lane Highways
This is something that most don’t think about, but sticking to four-lane highways when possible is actually a better idea than taking back roads.
Some drivers avoid highways for fear of running into impaired drivers, but think about this: You have more room to maneuver on the highway than on a back road.
7. Avoid Drowsy Driving
Some studies have shown that drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as impaired driving. This is likely because your brain can become as depressed when you are tired as when you are impaired.
All of this means your reaction time is dulled and your decision-making processes are slowed. Only drive if you feel that you are awake enough to do so safely.
8. Stay Aware
Distracted driving has overtaken impaired driving as the leading cause of collisions on the roadway. Don’t compound the problem of impaired drivers during Oktoberfest by operating your vehicle while you are distracted.
Put your cell phone down, keep your eyes on the road and focus on the task at hand. Performing any kind of activity other than driving while you are behind the wheel can be dangerous.
Talk to a Car Accident Attorney in Miami Today
People have the right to enjoy Oktoberfest in any legal manner they choose. They have the right to celebrate with friends, participate in bar crawls and drink maybe a bit more than they would on a typical weekend out.
What they don’t have the right to do is put you or your loved ones at risk of becoming car accident victims. Don’t rely on others to make good decisions. In fact, you are more likely to get home safely if you assume that other drivers haven’t made good decisions and respond accordingly.
You have rights as an accident victim. If you are involved in an accident in South Florida, a Miami car accident attorney can assist you in recovering damages for medical bills, property loss and more.
Reach out to our team of experienced car accident attorneys in Miami 24/7. We will help you schedule a free case evaluation and advise you of your legal rights and options. We are here to fight for every penny you deserve and won’t rest until you get it. Call now.