Over 10,000 deaths occurred in 2013 as a result of motor-related accidents that involved a driver with a blood alcohol content, or BAC, over the legal limit of .08 percent. Nearly 300,000 injuries also resulted from drunk driving. Despite being one of the most preventable and costliest causes for accidents on the road, drunk driving continues to be a risk for those behind the wheel, as well as passengers and inhabitants of other cars. Here are some tips to prevent drunk driving.
- Designated Driver
Be responsible and choose a designated driver before you even head out for the evening. If you know there will be libations available, decide who in the group will refrain to ensure there is a sober driver available at the event’s end. A designated driver is not simply the person who has had the least to drink, but who has remained sober throughout the entire outing.
Help educate those around you on the dangers of driving when under the influence. Not only can a drunken driving incident be fatal, it can also result in potential time behind bars or a slew of legal costs that can be extremely overwhelming.
Join groups that have a focus in deterring drivers from getting behind the wheel impaired. Many members of these types of groups are extensively trained and provide outreach to people of all ages. If participating in the educational aspect is not an option for you, contribute financially to such a group to allow them the means for continued education in the subject.
- Be Vigilant on the Road
Being a sober driver yourself does not mean you will not encounter others who are under the influence. Be vigilant when driving, especially in the evening hours when drunk driving tends to be more common. Signs to be aware of include significantly reduced speed, erratic swerving, crossing lanes, disregarding traffic signs and signals, and driving without use of headlights in the dark. If you detect a drunk driver, be sure to contact law enforcement immediately.
- Do not Encourage Excessive Drinking
If you are hosting an event, whether at your home or elsewhere, take the initiative to discourage drunken driving. Offer plenty of non-alcoholic drinks and quit serving alcoholic beverages about an hour or so before the end of your event. Have alternative transportation options available to your guests, whether this includes a taxi service or finding a sober friend who can assist in dropping off those who have had a few too many. If you suspect someone has had too much to drink, do not hesitate to take or hide their keys. They may be angry at the time if they are under the influence, but that is better than the risk they pose on the road.
Drinking and driving is not a matter to be taken lightly at any age or in any situation. With 28 people dying daily from this, a serious risk is posed if a driver gets behind the wheel impaired no matter how short the drive. Do your part in acting responsibly and driving sober only, as well as helping those around you.