The story is all too common. An innocent victim’s life is taken and their family is forever changed by the irresponsible actions of a drunk driver. Ironically, drinking and driving crashes are one of the most easily preventable catastrophes. Drinking and driving is a choice each driver makes and with that choice comes the responsibility of possibly taking another’s life.
MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) estimates that each year nationally, more than 1,000 people die during the period between Thanksgiving to New Years, in drunk driving crashes. Because of increased consumption of alcohol and an increase in the number of special events and parties, drinking and driving is more prevalent.
Despite reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stating that alcohol-related traffic deaths fell by 7 percent in 2008, too many people continue to get behind the wheel after they have had a few drinks. Is it really worth it? Do you really need to drive your car home so badly that you will risk your life, your career, your family, and someone else’s life?
The easiest way to avoid getting into trouble in the first place is assigning a designated driver to provide safe rides by staying sober. By planning ahead, there is no question who is driving or how the group will be getting home. If you know you and your group will be drinking, then plan ahead and hire a taxi to take you to and from your destination. A little bit of planning can make a big difference in your life and the lives of other’s in this holiday season.
Some simple tips to stay safe this holiday season:
- If you drink, don’t drive, no matter how little you think you have had to drink.
- Designate a driver before you arrive at an event or party.
- If hosting a party, make sure to set up rules on drinking and driving. Offer to provide a ride home or a place for guests who drink to sleep.
- If possible, avoid driving during the early and late evening hours on holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. Protect yourself and passengers by wearing a safety belt at all times.
Have a happy, safe holiday season.