The holiday season is in full swing with the rush to complete shopping, travelling to visit family and of course holiday parties. However with all of the fun and revelry the fact that the holidays are among the deadliest times of year on roadways is often forgotten.
In the days leading up to Christmas many people are out rushing around to complete last minute shopping. The crowded stores, chaotic parking lots and congested streets undoubtedly cause a great deal of frustration for many of these people which often translates into dangerous and aggressive driving. This aggressive driving leads to a number of accidents every year which only adds to frustrations.
However, the danger really increases with the arrival of the period between Christmas Eve and New Years. It is in this period that the occurrence of drunk driving dramatically increases as most people attend a number of parties where alcohol is served. A recent survey conducted by MADD found that 73% of adults age 21 and over had been at an event where they witnessed a guest try to drive home after drinking too much. Also National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data shows that 1,091 people were killed in DUI related wrecks in the period between Thanksgiving and New Years last year.
If you do plan to imbibe during the holidays there are a number of ways to do so responsibly to ensure that you get home safe. Here are some simple tips to follow to be sure you don’t end your night behind bars or in the hospital.
- The first and most important thing to do in planning your night out is to appoint a designated driver.
- If you cannot find someone to be a designated driver plan on calling a cab. Before you leave home you should save the number of a local cab company in your phone. Also there are a number of smartphone apps which can be used to hail a cab.
- If you have even the slightest doubt about your sobriety DO NOT attempt to drive. Jails are full of people who thought they were sober enough to drive. It is a simple case of being safe rather than sorry.
- If you are hosting a party:
- Be sure to have plenty of food to keep your guests from drinking on an empty stomach.
- Be sure to have non-alcoholic drinks for those in attendance who are designated drivers.
- Be prepared to offer up a spare bedroom or couch to those who aren’t able to get themselves home safely.
Pay attention to the sobriety of your guests as they plan to leave. If you are concerned about their ability to drive do not let them get behind the wheel.