The holidays are for celebrating, and many have plans to join family and friends over the next few weeks for festive parties and gatherings. Alcohol is often a component of these parties, adding revelry and cheer. However, it also adds danger if partiers fail to make the necessary preparations for avoiding car accidents on the way home.
Louisiana, including the Lafayette area, is one of only a few states that have obtained federal funding to provide ridesharing for a reduced fee during the holidays. Those who have been drinking can contact Lyft between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. to obtain a safe ride home for $5 off the normal fare. The Lyft company is also cooperating in a statewide campaign aimed at spreading awareness of the dangers of drunk driving.
Nationwide statistics show that a startling 40 percent of traffic fatalities involve alcohol. Last year, the families of 15 people in Louisiana suffered the tragic loss of a loved one in an accident. In addition, 170 drivers and passengers suffered injuries, and 60 percent of those accidents were alcohol-related. For holidays that center on joyful celebrations, these tragedies leave scars on the entire community.
While the rest of the world goes on with its festivities, many will be grieving the loss of loved ones or holding vigils at hospital bedsides for those injured in car accidents caused by a drunk driver. The holidays may never be the same for these families. Seeking compensation for their losses may help them not only to cover medical costs and other expenses related to the accident but to send a message of the importance of taking advantage of those safe ride opportunities like the ones Louisiana offers this season.