December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month
As more cars hit the road to join family and friends to celebrate this holiday season, drunk driving crashes increase throughout the month of December. Two of the most celebrated days in December – Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve – are also among the most dangerous. Unfortunately, every holiday season, lives are lost due to impaired drivers. National Impaired Driving Prevention Month or Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month serves as a reminder that we must all take action to keep our nation’s roads safe.
Not so merry and bright statistics:
- Christmas drunk driving rates are expected to increase this year because Christmas Eve and Christmas Day falls on Friday and Saturday.
- On New Year’s Day, the drunk driving-related deaths spike 129% above the average baseline, making it the most dangerous holiday of the year when it comes to drunk driving.
- 40% of traffic-related deaths during Christmas and New Year’s involve drunk drivers – a 12% increase over the rest of the month of December.
- During the New Year’s and Christmas periods in 2018, there were 285 drunk-driving-related fatalities – all of which were 100% preventable.
- Young adults are among those at greatest risk for driving impaired. During December 2010, drivers 21 to 34 years old were alcohol impaired and involved in fatal crashes at a higher percentage than any other age group.
Meyers & Flowers is partnering with law enforcement and organizations across the country this month in efforts to educate people about the dangers and consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. This holiday season give the greatest gift of driving sober. Join us in protecting those we love and stop adding more empty seats at families’ tables. Find practical tips below that you can implement to avoid driving impaired.
Tips to celebrate safely this holiday season:
- If you will be traveling for a celebration, plan out how you are going to get home safely prior to attending.
- Choose a party guest or friend/family member as a designated driver that will commit to remaining 100% sober for the night.
- Take a taxi, train, bus or carpool.
- To avoid surcharges or a lack of drivers, schedule your rideshare, like Uber or Lyft, beforehand to ensure you will have a driver exactly when you need it. Instructions on how to do so within the Uber app can be found here.
- Don’t mix alcohol with over the counter and prescription drugs. If you are taking any prescriptions, make sure to read the side effects and determine whether it is safe to consume alcohol while taking them.
Hostess with the mostess:
- Collect each guest’s car keys upon arriving and store them in a designated basket to keep track of what state people are leaving in and how they will be getting home.
- Serve food along with alcohol-free beverages. There are many creative mocktail recipes you can serve as well as soda, juice and water.
- If making an alcoholic punch, have the base be fruit juice instead of a carbonated drink. Alcohol absorbs faster into the blood stream when mixed with carbonation.
- Offer to have guests stay the night at your home if they do not have a safe ride alternative.
On the roads:
- The key to drinking and driving is: don’t. Every body is unique and not all alcohol is created equal so avoid following rules like the “one drink, one hour” rule.
- If you see a driver that seems impaired or is recklessly driving on the road, contact your local law enforcement immediately to report the occurrence.
- Always wear your seat belt – it is your best defense against impaired drivers
- If possible, try to avoid driving during peek drunk-driving hours. Research indicates from midnight to 3 a.m., two-thirds of fatal crashes involved an alcohol-impaired driver – twice the overage average. And according to the NHTSA, Saturday is the most dangerous day of the week to drive, primarily because there are more cars – and more drunk drivers – on the road than any other day.
We encourage you take the personal responsibility of pledging to drive sober now and always. To help spread the word this season, please share our content among your family and friends or on your social media platforms. For additional posting ideas, including graphics and captions, to spread awareness check out the United States Department of Transportation’s Traffic Safety Marketing Campaign.
Meyers & Flowers stands with those who know the tragic consequences of impaired driving and remain committed to representing victims and their families. We rededicate ourselves to preventing impaired driving this December and throughout the year.
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured due to the negligence of another, the seasoned trial attorneys at Meyers & Flowers are prepared to fight on your behalf. As a Chicago personal injury law firm with more than two decades of experience representing those injured in car and trucking accidents, we know the right plan of action to get you and your family back on your feet. Contact us today for a free case evaluation to see how we can help and to better understand your rights.