The holiday season truly is the most wonderful time of the year, when loved ones come together for feasts and festivities.
However, statistics tragically show that this period happens to be the most dangerous time of the year, with more people driving under the influence than ever. Last year, between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, 1,143 people were killed in drunk driving crashes nationwide. In all of 2017, 42 people were killed in Hawaii in alcohol-related traffic crashes, which is 40 percent of the total traffic fatalities for that year.
This is why December has been proclaimed National Impaired Driving Prevention Month: To remind everyone to celebrate responsibly this holiday season.
With the holiday season already in full force, drivers need to be responsible in their decision-making before getting behind the wheel. Here are a few tips for consideration in order to avoid losing any more innocent lives, and to end 2018 accident-free:
Assign a designated driver
Before the night begins, ensure someone has been designated to drive everyone home safely. If you are the designated driver for the night, take the responsibility seriously. Drinking and driving to any degree is never okay.
Don’t let anyone under the influence get behind the wheel
If you see a friend or loved one attempting to operate a vehicle after drinking, do them and those on the road a favor by taking their keys away. No matter how much they insist on being fit to drive, arrange a safe alternative for them to get home.
Coordinate other transportation options (taxi, Uber, Lyft)
If everyone in your group has consumed alcohol, use public transportation or other ride options to get everyone home safely. The cost of the ride far outweighs the consequences of getting a DUI, being involved in an accident, or someone losing a life.
Contact the police if you spot a drunk driver
Pay close attention while on the road for other drivers under the influence. Key characteristics of an impaired driver include erratic swerving and turning, abrupt stops, and slow responses to traffic signals. Keep other drivers as safe as possible by calling law enforcement immediately when you see danger on the road.
Have a lot of food and non-alcoholic drinks
By having a copious amount of food and non-alcoholic drinks available at your next holiday party, your guests will have more substance in their stomachs. Having alternative non-alcoholic beverages available for guests is an even better option. Encourage everyone to enjoy the safer choices, and never pressure anyone to drink alcohol.