December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month.
During the holiday season, incidents of drunk and drugged driving occur more frequently and pose a threat to everyone on the road. To keep our streets safe this December, let’s educate ourselves on impaired driving prevention and hold ourselves — and those around us — accountable. Below, we’ve outlined basic tips and knowledge to help you avoid preventable tragedies.
Understand the many ways in which alcohol affects driving ability.
Consuming alcohol reduces a driver’s capacity to make sound and responsible decisions. It makes concentration difficult and impairs basic comprehension and coordination. On the road, a driver needs to quickly interpret signs, signals and situations in order to react safely. Under the influence of alcohol, this is simply not possible. In addition, alcohol reduces visual acuity and impairs the ability to judge distance and depth perception. Learn more about the effects of alcohol intoxication on driving from the CDC.
If you plan on drinking, also plan for a sober ride home. Designate a non-drinking driver when with a group, or consider calling a cab or ride-sharing app at the end of the night. It’s simply unsafe and irresponsible to get behind the wheel.
Help others get home safely.
Don’t let friends drive drunk. If you’re faced with a situation where someone who’s impaired tries to drive, MAAD offers these helpful tips to stop them:
- Be as non-confrontational as possible
- Suggest alternative ways they can get home, or that they sleep over
- Enlist a friend for moral support; it’s more difficult to say “no” to two (or three or four) people
- Talk slowly and explain that you don’t want them to drive because you care
- If possible, take the person’s keys