While we often go through our list thinking of the perfect presents for friends and relatives, often the perfect present is to make it safely through the holidays.
National Drugged & Drunk Driving Prevention Month began in 1981 during the month of December, recognizing the risks of drunk and drugged driving.
Did you know that the highest occurrence of fatal car accidents happens in the time period between Thanksgiving and New Years? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drugs (for example, marijuana and cocaine) are involved in about 18 percent of motor vehicle driver deaths while drunk driving accidents account for 31 percent of all motor vehicle accidents. To make it worse, because of drunk and drugged driving, thousands of drivers and passengers die each year.
When we think impairment, we usually think about the effects of alcohol or what is known as drunk driving. Do not overlook the effects of drugged driving. The use of tranquilizers produces drowsiness, a lack of coordination, altered perceptions, memory impairment, poor control of speech, and slower reaction time. Additional effects include poor tracking, inability to maintain lane position, and ignoring roadside instructions.
There are ways to take some action:
- Designate a driver. It’s worth repeating that designated drivers should not consume any alcohol, however tempting.
- If there is no designated driver, take advantage of rideshare services like Uber or Lyft. You can even go old school and call a local taxi.
- If you’re hosting a party, be mindful of how much alcohol your guests are consuming. Nobody wants to be a watchdog, however, if you think it is dangerous for one of your guests to be driving, ask another guest to drive that guest home.
The slogan goes “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.” If you’re driving impaired, you’re running the risk of not only putting yourself in legal danger but also putting others in real danger.