December is the month of giving, of celebrating holiday traditions and wrapping things up before the end of the year. It’s also a time of record traffic accidents—with history indicating that December 23 and December 24 are two of the most deadly days on the road (NCSA, 2005).
Since 1981, every President of the United States has declared December to be National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month. With the added dangers of distracted driving due to cell phones and mobile devices in recent years, December is now designated as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month.
Impaired driving involves far more than drunk driving or drugged driving. It involves any activity that takes your attention away from driving, including cell phone/mobile device use (both talking and texting), applying makeup, reading, eating/drinking and more.
Every year, distracted and drunk driving are responsible for countless injuries and fatalities that are completely preventable. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nearly 1/3 of all traffic-accidents deaths are caused by drunk drivers while approximately 1/5 of all injury-causing accidents involve a distracted driver.
While you can’t dictate the actions of others, there are several things you can do to stay safe on the road:
- Have a designated driver.
- Offer alcohol-free beverages at parties and other holiday celebrations.
- Turn your cell phone off when you’re driving.
- Stay focused on driving when you’re behind the wheel.
- Be aware of the traffic around you.
- Arrange transportation for holiday guests who cannot safely drive themselves home.
We don’t draw attention to this to dampen the holiday spirit, but to help you stay safe as you travel to be with friends and family this month. As your friendly, neighborhood auto and body shop, we’re committed to keeping our community informed to reduce the impact of impaired driving.