In 2012, President Barack Obama designated December as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. Impaired driving includes distracted driving, drugged driving, and drunk driving.
Obama chose this month specifically, because December seems particularly suited to this observation because traffic fatalities that involve impaired drivers increase significantly during the Christmas and New Year’s holiday periods.
In an average year, 30 million Americans drive drunk and 10 million Americans drive impaired by illicit drugs. On average, 25 people were killed in an alcohol-impaired driving crashes per day during December 2010.
Young adults are among those at greatest risk for driving impaired. During December 2010, drivers from the ages 21-34 were alcohol impaired and involved in fatal crashes at a higher percentage than any other age group.
Here are some tips to ensure everyone’s safety this holiday season:
- Designate a sober driver BEFORE celebrations begin
- Never serve alcohol to those under the age of 21
- If you have been drinking, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public safety.
- You may be a safe driver but that doesn’t protect you entirely from accidents, be aware of your surroundings including other drivers.
- If you see an impaired driver, call law enforcement. It’s better to ruin their night than their life.
- If you see someone leaving a celebration impaired, take their keys. Don’t let them leave until they have made different driving arrangements.
- If you know someone who is about to drive or ride with a driver who is impaired, take the driver’s keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.
This month’s goal is to raise awareness about the consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, to ensure a happy, healthy life for everybody.
Every American can play a role in reducing the frequency of these accidents by speaking out and warning others of the dangers associated with impaired driving.
Happy Holidays & Drive Safe!