2011 is right around the corner and we all know that New Year’s Eve is when the champagne flows and inhibitions are forgotten. And when drunk driving is especially prevalent.
As a reminder of such dangers, AAA has released the results of a survey finding that one in ten American drivers within this past year have admitted to getting behind the wheel despite believing that they were near or in excess of the legal blood alcohol content limit. In addition, AAA reviewed NHTSA data on alcohol-related fatalities between 2000 and 2009 and found that almost two and a half times as many people are killed in alcohol-related crashes on New Year’s Day than on the same day of the week in the weeks surrounding the holiday.
I’m not usually a Debbie Downer but I mean this seriously – please be safe this weekend. Regardless of the survey, we all know people drink a lot on New Year’s Eve. If you’re going to drink, do the right thing and either line up a designated driver, hail a cab, rely on public transit, or crash on the couch. If not for the public or for your own safety, then because of all the cops that will be out patrolling for drunk drivers. Even if you’re absolutely confident in your ability to drive while buzzed, your certainty won’t do you a damn bit of good at a checkpoint.
And if you’re not going to drink, you need to be wary of the others on the road. Give them a wide berth. If you see someone driving erratically ahead of you, take another road – don’t go around them. If a driver is coming up behind you too quickly, get out of his way. Unfortunately, I’m speaking from experience. If it looks like drunk driving, for the safety of the driver and others on the road, call the police.
We all know at least one person who has been a victim of drunk driving, so please don’t let a similar tragedy ruin your life and possibly the lives of others. Cars are meant to bring us joy, not grief. Stay safe!