December is Impaired Driving Prevention Month
For over twenty years, every American President has declared December to be Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month or Impaired Driving Prevention Month. It is recognition of the dangers of impaired driving by alcohol or other drugs and the need for everyone to take action; for everyone to not drive impaired.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in the month of December 2015, 840 people lost their lives in traffic crashes involving a drunk driver. From 2011 to 2015, 3,983 people were killed in December crashes that involved drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over the legal limit of .08.
Driving is Complicated
Driving safely requires you perform a number of actions, such as:
- Scanning ahead for any dangers
- Checking your side mirror to see what is next to you
- Looking into the rearview mirror for any approaching risks
- Making sure you are doing the proper speed for the conditions
- Steering the car and staying within the lane
- Listening for sirens or other sounds of imminent harm, and the list continues
However, any consumption of alcohol impairs your judgment and reaction times, making it unsafe for you to drive.
Planning Beforehand is Simple
During this time of holiday joy, make sure to take some simple steps to ensure you get home safe.
- Planning ahead is the key to staying safe after you’ve been drinking. While you’re making plans to attend holiday parties and celebrations, also make a plan for how to get home safely and to stay out of jail. A sober driver is an essential part of any plan that includes drinking.
- Give yourself and your loved ones the gift of a designated driver to help stay safe this holiday season. Before you start drinking, designate your sober driver or plan a safe ride home. If you will not be drinking, offer to be a sober driver for others who will be.
- Help those around you be responsible, too. If someone you know is drinking, do not let them get behind the wheel.
- If you see someone who appears to be driving drunk, call the police. Your actions could help save a life.
You Can Make a Difference
As a society, we understand the risks that drinking and driving create and more and more people are stopping that behavior. However, individuals are still drinking and driving; people are still dying. You can make a difference. Plan ahead, and when appropriate, speak up when you are with others. The life you save could be yours.