After we’ve shared our thanks with our loved ones, the holiday spirit commences with the last month of the year. December marks a time on all our calendars designated for us to spend time with loved ones and spread festive cheer in preparation for the years’ biggest Holiday. However, on a less cheery note, December is also observed as National Drunk Driving Prevention Month.
So, why is this jolly season also recognized for such a heart wrenching epidemic? According to the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, the number of impaired drivers on the road increases significantly between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Unfortunately, despite the various messaging efforts made to educate drivers on the dangers of driving while intoxicated, it is still a growing problem.
In order to properly shed a light on National Drunk Driving Prevention Month, it’s important for all drivers to have a firm grasp on the widespread effects of drunk driving. Before you buckle up for your next drive this season, take a moment to digest the critical components that make up this distressing epidemic that directly impacts all drivers.
As alcohol is a depressant, the impact it has on a drivers’ ability and overall performance is far-reaching. Before diving into the data that makes impaired driving as detrimental as it is, it’s important to understand the direct impact alcohol has on a driver’s judgment, as well as drinking and driving consequences.
Driving under the influence
Before young drivers obtain the right to legally drive a car for the first time, they will learn how to safely operate a car and will be tested on how they are able to perform the necessary coordination between their hands, feet, and eyes. It’s important to remember that a car is a large piece of machinery that can be incredibly dangerous to us and to others if not used properly.
So, how does alcohol and drugs impact our ability to drive? As alcohol is a depressant, it naturally slows the activity in a person’s central nervous system.
Driving while under the influence of alcohol could impact a person’s ability to perform in the following ways:
- Reduced concentration. Alcohol slows down our vision immensely. This means that the eye muscles that control movement, sight, and perception become skewed and blurry when consuming alcohol.
- Decreased reaction times. Because alcohol slows down the activity in our brain, it also slows down a person’s reflexes.
- Decreased judgment. Alcohol can also suppress a person’s overall judgment. Thus, alcohol makes it very difficult to react swiftly to a changing situation on the road.
- Induced drowsiness. As alcohol is a depressant, it naturally makes people drowsy, which increases the likelihood that a person could fall asleep at the wheel.
Moreover, driving with a BAC (blood alcohol content) that is higher than the legal limit of your state is considered drunk driving, which may result in injury, arrest, or even death.
Drunk driving statistics
Drunk driving impacts us all and can be a lurking danger for any driver who is on the road. However, out of all the months of the year, December is the biggest cause for concern in this epidemic.
It’s important to reflect on the DUI statistics that continue to make this epidemic as heartbreaking as it is:
- According to Area Substance Abuse Council (ASAC), nearly 30 people die every day from an alcohol-related car accident, which equates to one death every 50 minutes as a direct result of drunk driving.
- As stated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), someone is injured in a drunk driving accident once every 120 seconds.
- As reported by Safety and Health Magazine, alcohol-related crashes account for all traffic fatalities in 2017.
- According to the NHTSA, over a five-year period, almost 4,000 people died as a result of a drunk driving crash in the month of December.
Drunk driving prevention
With December being recognized as Drunk Driving Prevention Month, it’s important to drive home the importance of driving sober.
Let your December be full of holiday cheer with your loved ones by following these drunk driving prevention tips:
Drunk driving prevention tips:
- Before attending any holiday party this season, have a way to get home afterward, especially if you are planning on drinking at the event.
- If you are planning on drinking, here are some options you have in order to get home safely:
- Designate a sober driver ahead of time.
- Call for a lift from a ride-share app.
- Call for a taxi.
- Be sure to never get into a car with a driver who has been drinking!
- Help others be responsible. If you’re around other individuals who are intoxicated, do everything you can to ensure they don’t get behind the wheel.
Your friends and family at SafeAuto want to ensure you and your loved ones have a happy and safe holiday season this year. Buckle up by driving responsibly to truly enjoy the road ahead. Happy Holidays!
Content Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general information purposes only. While SafeAuto attempts to ensure that the information is accurate, the information is provided “as is” without warranty of any kind. SafeAuto does not accept any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, content, completeness, legality, or reliability of the information contained in this article. The information contained in this article should not be mistaken for professional or legal advice.