The holiday season means a lot of things to a lot of people. It means gathering together with friends and family, more food than you could possibly eat, celebrations that last long into the night, and much more. Sometimes, this can mean having a little too much to drink. To combat the uptick in impaired driving accidents during the month of December, the United States has declared December National Impaired Driving Month to help bring awareness and hopefully prevent impaired driving accidents.
Driving while under the influence can have devastating consequences. According to a Presidential Proclamation about National Impaired Driving Month, “In 2017, more than 10,000 people died in alcohol-related crashes in the United States, accounting for 29 percent of all traffic fatalities.” Declaring December National Impaired Driving Month is supposed to serve as a reminder that while you’re out enjoying yourself and celebrating with friends and family, you always need to think ahead and plan how you’re going to get home.
There are many things you can do to plan ahead and make sure you and your loved ones get home safely. The first recommendation is to find a designated driver. This can be anyone you trust that has agreed to stay sober throughout the night and get you home safely. Another recommendation is to make sure you have access to getting a ride. This means downloading Uber, Lyft, or other ridesharing apps and making sure you have an account set up ahead of time to make ordering a ride home even easier. Additionally, you need to be able to recognize when you aren’t sober enough to drive home. There’s no shame is hailing a ride, so make sure you either plan ahead of time to get a ride home or be self-aware enough to know when you’re unable to safely drive. Finally, don’t be afraid to stop someone from getting behind the wheel. If you see a friend or family member who is obviously under the influence and unfit to drive, offer to give them a ride home if you’re able to or help them find a ride. Doing these things will help keep our roads safe and hopefully decrease the chances of an impaired driving accident.
Operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, illicit drugs, or certain medications is extremely dangerous and can have life-altering consequences. With the tips above, preventing roadway accidents during the holiday season and throughout the entire year is very possible. For more information on how to raise awareness for sober driving during National Impaired Driving Month, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s site that features the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign.