Drive Safe This Holiday Season December 3, 2020
Although drunk and impaired driving is a national problem year-round, it becomes even more commonplace during the holidays. To combat this problematic trend, each holiday season, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) runs a month long awareness campaign entitled “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” aimed at reducing drunk and impaired driving rates in order to save lives.
Give the Gift of Driving Sober
Nearly one-third of all annual driving fatalities involve drunk or impaired drivers. Between Christmas and New Years in 2018, the NHTSA reported 285 drunk-driving-related deaths, indicating a serious nationwide problem. The truth is, all car accident deaths and injuries associated with drinking or drugs are 100% preventable. Some helpful ways to ensure that you celebrate and get home safely this holiday season is to pre-plan and to commit to making responsible driving decisions. As the NHTSA says, one of the greatest gifts to give to yourself – and to give to other drivers, passengers, motorcyclists, and everyone else on the road — is to drive sober.
Any amount of alcohol in a person’s bloodstream affects his or her ability to drive. Alcohol reduces brain functions and can lead to impaired thinking, impaired reasoning, and reduced muscle coordination. The NHTSA reports that once a person reaches a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of .08 that crash risks exponentially increase. This is why it is illegal in every state to drive with a BAC of .08 or above. Even having a BAC below .08 can lead to deadly incidents; in 2018, drivers with BACs ranging between .01 and .07 killed 1,878 people.
Whether a person obtains drugs legally (e.g. prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs) or illegally, they can lead to devastating consequences behind the wheel. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), products that can make it dangerous to drive include:
- Tranquilizers and some sleeping pills
- Prescription drugs for anxiety
- Cold remedies and allergy medications
- Medications that contain codeine
- Certain pain relievers
- Diet pills and “stay awake” drugs like caffeine, ephedrine, and pseudoephedrine
If you are taking OTC (over-the-counter) or prescription medications, it is critical to be sure that they are safe to take before driving. It is best to consult directly with your doctor.
Safe Holiday Driving Tips
Here are just a few of the NHTSA’s tips for traveling safely this upcoming holiday season:
- If you have plans to attend a gathering or party (depending on your location and social distancing guidelines) be sure to designate a sober driver
- If you are unable to designate a sober driver for holiday season festivities, be sure to use a ride-hailing service (like Uber or Lyft) or public transportation. Just be sure to check public transportation schedules beforehand, because they tend to be more limited during the holidays
- If you see a drunk or impaired driver on the road, call local law enforcement. Making this call could save someone’s life
Injured in a Car Accident?
Even if you commit to driving safely and responsibly, you cannot control others on the road. If you were injured or your car sustained damage after being hit by a drunk or impaired driver, it is advisable to speak with an attorney. Even if the drunk driver was charged with driving under the influence, the injured party still bears the legal burden of proving that the other driver’s actions resulted in their injuries. Having an experienced attorney on your side can simplify this complicated and often stressful legal experience. To learn more, contact a representative at our firm online now.
Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP Representing Car Accident Victims Since 1947
With offices located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Reading and Lancaster, Galfand Berger serves clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.