Did you know that 3rd of all death cases around the Christmas season involves drunken driving? Even one or two drinks can impact your driving and cause extreme injury to you and others. In 2016 nearly 2,000 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes where drivers had low blood alcohol level ((BACs of .01 to .07 g/dL). Even with the low school levels in the blood, it’s tough to multi-task. You will experience reduced coordination, visual impairment, slow reflexes. All of these potential symptoms make it harder to react in an emergency on the road. Don’t get yourself in a life-threatening position for you or your family. Safety first!
Make Plans Ahead of Time
It’s always important to plan your social events involving alcohol. We are assured that most the people are responsible but here are just a few tips to plan a safer holiday season: Always chose a designated driver if you’re going out with the group of friends before you start drinking. If you are hosting the party, ensure some non-alcohol beverages for your guests, and remind all guests about having a safe ride home! Call Uber or Taxi if you or your friend is too intoxicated to drive.
Keep your vehicle maintained
If you have a long road ahead of you, schedule some time with your mechanic to make sure everything’s covered: oil life, tire pressure, headlights, etc. An essential check is the brake check. Take care of any other repairs you may have been putting off. The last thing you want on a holiday weekend is to be stranded on the side of the road waiting for a tow or someone to pick you up. Pack some snacks and lots of water. Pack an emergency or first aid kit. Update your GPS so its equipped with the latest maps.
Don’t drive Impaired
Even if you’re not drinking be aware of the dangers of driving without enough sleep. Around 72,000 accidents were caused by underslept drivers in 2013 by the CDC report. Don’t rely on energy drinks or caffeine to make up for the tired mind and body especially if you plan so mid-night trip. Make an effective plan to switch off drivers and even pulling off the road for a quick power-nap. Listen to your body when it’s telling you it’s drowsy and needs to rest!
Look out for signs like these:
- Inability to remember the last few minutes of travel
- Missing traffic signals or signs
- Wandering Thoughts
- Drifting in lines
- Doopy eyelids
Occupy Kids and restrain pets
Pets and kids can cause a lot of distractions in the car, so the best choice is to keep them occupied. Give kids options like puzzle books or music/movies on a portable device or play simple card games. Sometimes this can be fun for adults also. Pets should be appropriately restrained, so they are comfortable and safe and don’t pose a treat or distraction to the driver.