While we may have no control over drunk drivers on the road, we can take control of our own safety.
The celebrations of the holiday season bring out more drunk drivers than during any other time of the year. Realizing there will be intoxicated drivers on the road is the first step to ensure our own safety as well as the safety of our loved ones. During this time, it is especially important to stay vigilant when driving.
Drunk Driving by the Numbers
Don’t think that drunk driving is really a problem? Here are some statistics showing the devastation that intoxicated driving causes, directly from the Dept. of Transportation (US), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
- In 2013, 10,076 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for nearly one-third (31%) of all traffic-related deaths in the United States.
- Of the 1,149 traffic deaths among children ages 0 to 14 years in 2013, 200 (17%) involved an alcohol-impaired driver.
- Of the 200 child passengers ages 14 and younger who died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 2013, over half (121) were riding in the vehicle with the alcohol-impaired driver.
Texas statistics from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (2013):
- Drunk driving fatalities (.08 BAC or higher): 1,337 representing 39.5% of all total traffic deaths, a 3.6% increase from last year.
- Alcohol-related crash injuries (.01 BAC or higher): 15,687
- Alcohol-related crashes (.01 BAC or higher): 25,479
- DUI arrests: 99,195
- DUI convictions: 71,030
Protecting Yourself against Drunk Driving
To avoid contributing to these statistics, here are some things you can do:
- If you have been drinking, call a cab or utilize a driving service such as Uber for transportation.
- If a friend has been drinking, do the same for him or her – call a cab or use a service like Uber for your friend.
- Watch for and stay away from other vehicles that are travelling too fast, too slow, swerving or otherwise driving in an unsafe manner.
- Avoid driving between midnight and 2:30 in the morning
Let’s make this holiday season a safe one for our families, our friends and ourselves.