Sobering Statistics: December is National Impaired Driving Awareness Month

Every day, 28 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver, or roughly one death every 53 minutes. In 2014, nearly 10,000 people were killed, accounting for one-third of all traffic-related deaths. The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes totals more than $44 billion.

Holiday celebrations often involve alcohol, but there are ways you can stay safe and do your part to reduce drunk driving injuries and deaths.

Many variables play a part in how impaired you may become: what you’re drinking, how much, and for how long; how much you eat; current health conditions; weight; and gender. And those who don’t often drink may underestimate their level of impairment.

Don’t take chances. Designate a sober driver who agrees ahead of time to avoid alcohol that evening. And if you find someone who’s impaired and trying to drive, stop them:

  • Be gentle but firm.
  • Explain why you don’t want them to drive: because you care and don’t want them to hurt themselves or others.
  • Suggest alternate ways of getting to their destination, like a sober driver, a cab or ride-sharing service, or public transportation, and help make it happen. If that fails, recommend they sleep over.
  • Enlist a friend to help. It’s more difficult to say “no” to two (or three or four) people than one.
  • If possible, take away the person’s keys.
  • Call law enforcement. It’s better to have a friend arrested than for them, or innocent people, injured or killed.

Click here for more ideas on how to prevent impaired driving, and ensure a safe and joyous holiday season.


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