December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month
The holiday season is no doubt one of the most wonderful times of the year but it can also be the most dangerous. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 830 people lost their lives in crashes involving an impaired driver during the month of December in 2012.
With road travel increasing and holiday parties in full swing, many people find themselves in situations where getting home safely can be a problem. “Impaired Driving” includes the use of alcohol, prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, illegal drugs, or other means that puts your life and the lives of others at risk. However, there are some simple things you can do to help keep our roads safe.
Tips to ensure safe roadways this holiday season:
- Plan ahead. Have a non-drinking designated driver, use a taxi, car service (Uber or Lyft), or public transportation. Be sure to have your phone and cash just in case. Think about how light you will feel throughout the evening knowing that you planned ahead!
- Don’t be afraid to be the voice of reason and intervene. If someone appears to be impaired, approach them with kindness and encourage them not to drive. Express your concerns that you don’t want them to hurt themselves or others. If possible, try to take their keys and make arrangements for alternate transportation. If all else fails, call the police. It’s better to involve the police even if it leads to an arrest than to have someone injure/kill themselves or someone else.
- Take moral responsibility and report others. If you suspect someone you see on the road is impaired, Call 911 to report them. Keep a safe distance from the car and write down the license plate and color of the car and model. Also let the police know the location and direction the car is headed.
- Talk about it. Talk to your loved ones ahead of time and year-round about the dangers of impaired driving. Inform them of the statistics and how important it is to plan ahead and get home safely. You will feel good knowing that you helped in some way to keep your community safe this holiday season.