National Impaired Driving Prevention Month
As drivers, we have a responsibility to ourselves and those around us to drive safely. Unfortunately, many Americans fail in this responsibility by driving drunk, drugged, or distracted. That is why President Obama declared December 2016 National Impaired Driving Prevention Month in the United States.
The holiday season sees an increase in incidents of impaired driving. It’s a busy time of year filled with holiday parties, meaning more people drive distracted or under the influence, as well as more foot and vehicle traffic on the roads.
Impaired driving refers to more than just driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but references driving distractedly as well. Distracted driving includes eating, using your cellphone, or interacting with passengers while operating a vehicle. Sadly, the number of fatalities caused by impaired driving has increased in recent years.
The Palmetto State in particular has been called out for our record of poor driving. South Carolina is ranked as the sixth worst state in the nation for driving accidents, third for speeding, seventh for fatalities, and eighth for citations. Adding impaired driving to the list is a recipe for disaster. In fact, data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that South Carolina is the worst state in the nation when it comes to the percentage of traffic deaths involving drunk driving.
While we definitely have work to do when it comes to practicing safe driving in our state, there is some good news for South Carolina drivers: a study conducted by the University of South Carolina found that over 93% of drivers in South Carolina wear their seat belts.
National Impaired Driving Prevention Month is a chance for individuals across South Carolina and the rest of the nation to spread awareness about impaired driving, and work to prevent any incidents that may occur as a result of unsafe driving methods. We should take this opportunity to encourage each other to practice safe, unimpaired driving.
As passengers, we can help by reducing our interaction with drivers and encouraging them to practice safe driving, such as refraining from using a cell phone or eating while driving. As friends, we can look out for our loved ones who have been drinking by making sure they get home safely. As holiday party-goers, we can plan ahead when it comes to our transportation, calling a cab or Uber to get us safely from one spot to the next. And as citizens, we can help prevent accidents by calling 911 to report any dangerous or reckless driving we witness on the roads.
The holiday season should be a time filled with joy, laughter, and good times with friends and family. Don’t let the effects of impaired driving keep you from enjoying this wonderful time of year.
From all of us at the John Price Law Firm, we wish you a safe and happy holiday season.