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DECEMBER IS NATIONAL IMPAIRED DRIVING PREVENTION MONTH
The month of December is designated as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. The time between Thanksgiving and New Years can be filled with joy and celebration. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), within the U.S. Department of Transportation, with the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration remind us all to celebrate safely this holiday season.
Driving while impaired by any substance – legal or illegal – is dangerous and illegal. You can’t drive safely if you are impaired. Alcohol, marijuana, medications (over-the-counter and prescription), as well as illicit drugs can all impair a driver’s abilities and judgement. According to getsmartaboutdrugs.gov, these substances can “affect the brain and can alter perception, mental processes, attention, balance, coordination, reaction time, and other abilities required for safe driving. Even small amounts of some drugs can have a serious effect on driving ability.”
“Every day, 29 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. This is one death every 50 minutes. In 2016, more than 1 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes alone totals more than $44 billion (CDC).”
By making smart choices, we can all do our part to save lives. Here are some safety steps you can take:
- Plan head for a sober driver.
- Don’t let friends drive impaired.
- If you are hosting a party, make sure all guests leave with a sober driver.
- Always were your seatbelt and ensure that everyone in your vehicle is buckled in correctly.
- Julie Happy