It’s the most wonderful time of the year – the holiday season is officially upon us. Across the globe, people are gearing up for a busy month of shopping, baking, wrapping presents, and of course, spending time with friends and loved ones at festive gatherings.

Whatever your plans are this time of year, it’s important to celebrate as safely as possible. The holiday season brings not only a significant spike in traveling, but also an increase in individuals getting behind the wheel impaired by alcohol or drugs. That’s why since 1981, every president of the United States has proclaimed December as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, urging drivers to make the right choice by driving sober and distraction-free not only this month, but throughout the entire year.

Startling Impaired Driving Statistics

Impaired driving includes drunk driving, drugged driving and distracted driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) partnered with the U.S. Department of Transportation to create the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign as a means to spread the word about the importance of avoiding impaired driving. Too many impaired drivers get behind the wheel every day, putting their own lives and the lives of countless others on the road with them at risk. Let’s take a closer look at a few of the most startling statistics from the NHTSA, the Insurance Information Institute (iii) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) surrounding impaired driving:

  • On average, every 50 minutes someone in the United States dies in a vehicle crash caused by a drunk driver
  • In 2016, more than 1 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics
  • 43 percent of fatally-injured drivers in 2015 tested positive for drugs or marijuana – more than tested positive for alcohol
  • In 2012, 4.2 million adults reported having driven at least once within a 30-day span while impaired by alcohol
  • Each day in the United States, approximately 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver
  • In 2016, more than 10,000 people died in alcohol-impaired crashes, a number that represents 28 percent of traffic fatalities

Be a Responsible Driver this National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

This National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, we urge you to keep the above facts in mind before enjoying too many holiday spirits and getting behind the wheel. Designate a sober driver before every event, or plan to take an Uber, Lyft or taxi to your celebrations. It’s everyone’s responsibility to make smart decisions that will ensure the safety of all those on the road. Remember, if you feel different, you’ll drive different. Make the pledge to stay sober, alert and avoid distractions when you’re driving this holiday season and beyond.

Drive Team offers teen driving classes and corporate driver training to teach drivers of all ages how to be safe, confident and conscientious while behind the wheel. Contact us today for more information.