December is a particularly busy month on the roadways as people visit friends and relatives around the holidays. And because holiday parties and other festivities often involve alcohol, December is also a dangerous month to be driving.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, close to 30 people in the U.S. die every day in car crashes caused by drivers impaired by alcohol. Impaired drivers are involved in almost one-third of all fatalities from car accidents.
But alcohol isn’t the only cause of impaired driving. It is estimated that more than 20 percent of car accidents are the result of drugged driving, according to the Institute for Behavior and Health, Inc., a non-profit that focuses on reducing substance abuse
This is why December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. President Barack Obama’s official proclamation says the month is dedicated “to saving lives and eliminating drunk, drugged, and distracted driving.”
Drugged driving means driving while impaired by illegal as well as legal drugs. The effect of drugs on the brain is very similar to that of alcohol. Even prescribed drugs can harm your ability to drive.
Through National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, safety officials hope to raise awareness about the dangers of driving while impaired. In addition to improving screening methods and supplying police with better tools and training, the Driver Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign will be runs nationally from December 13 to January 1. More law enforcement officers are out on the roads and on the lookout for impaired drivers during this time.
Here are some tips to consider during this holiday season and year round:
- Before any party or event that involves alcohol, always choose a designated driver. Even one drink can affect driving, so the designated driver shouldn’t drink at all.
- Make sure to have nonalcoholic drinks on hand and stop serving alcohol during the latter states of a gathering.
- If you have been drinking, take a taxi or public transportation or call a sober friend or relative.
- If you see an impaired driver out on the road, call the police.
- If someone you know attempts to drive after drinking, take their keys and help them get home safely.
Injuries and deaths that result from drunk or drugged driving are completely preventable. If you are going to drink this holiday season, please do so responsibly. If you feel that you shouldn’t be driving, don’t take the chance. You could save your life and that of others.
Unfortunately, impaired driving will probably never be eradicated. If you were hurt in an accident that was caused by a drunk driver, you may be able to receive compensation. You shouldn’t hesitate to speak with a personal injury attorney.