The National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHTSA) designated Dec. as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. This month is when families and friends celebrate the winter holidays, but the number of drunk driving fatalities increases as well. Here is how you can do your part to increase safety awareness this month and all year round.
It is always important to be on the lookout for intoxicated motorists, and you may see more of them during the holiday season. If you see a vehicle that is drifting in and out of lanes, weaving in between traffic, or making wide turns, that driver could be under the influence.
Other things to watch for include erratic braking, nearly striking other vehicles or objects, driving too slowly, making overly wide turns, and driving on the wrong side of the road. Intoxicated drivers may also:
What should you do in these situations? Slow down, and carefully change lanes when it is safe to do so. You can voice call 911, have a passenger do it, or pull over somewhere safe to make the call. Try to remember the make and model of the vehicle and know where it is driving, as the operator will need this information.
Additionally, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) expanded its awareness and prevention campaigns to include drugged driving. The opioid crisis and legalization of marijuana have contributed to the problem, as have misuse of legal prescription and over-the-counter drugs. The side effects can make drivers lose focus, make poor driving decisions, and get into serious car accidents.
If you have teenagers or young adult drivers in your family, National Impaired Driving Prevention Month is a good time to speak with them about the dangers of impaired driving. Share resources that prove how hazardous it is, and set expectations for their behavior, including consequences. Offer to pick them up or pay for a ridesharing service when they go to parties, and set strict curfews. You can also try reaching out to their friends’ parents to set up carpooling.
Setting a good example is also wise, so if you are going to an event where alcohol will be served, plan ahead. Choosing a designated driver does not always work since people often give in to peer pressure and end up drinking. Use a ridesharing service or public transportation instead, and never get into a vehicle with someone who has been drinking.
Increasing awareness about impaired driving is important, but this will not prevent some accidents from happening. If you have been injured in a crash, speak with one of our Wilmington car accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Call us at 302-656-5445 or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve clients in Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.