Here's How You Can Drive Safely This Holiday Season...

Note: This is a guest post that I was happy to share with you. I lost two family members to drunk driving several years back. My uncle and my little cousin (just 8 years old) both had their lives cut short. Please take a moment to to read this. Even if you don't celebrate with alcohol, you likely know someone who does. By being informed, you could save a life!

The Holiday season is a time of joy, love, friendship and family. It is also a time to start a fresh new year. The moment the clock strikes midnight, the calendar rolls over with a new number, and it just feels good, right? But before any of that happens, you probably have plans with friends, family or co-workers to ring in the New Year. Whether you’re at a holiday gathering or a New Year’s Eve bash, many of our social plans involve driving. And SO many people fail to plan ahead and designate a sober driver. Getting pulled over or getting into a crash probably isn’t the way you want to start your fresh new year off.

Fatalities related to drunk driving are 100 percent preventable and the spike in buzzed driving around the holidays is especially alarming. The U.S Department of Transportation and the Ad Council are asking everyone to drive smart this Holiday Season and to pledge not to drive buzzed.

Is it really worth the risk? There are so many other options to consider if you plan on having a drink this holiday season:
  • Have a pre-designated sober driver.
  • Call a taxi.
  • Carpool with a designated driver.
  • Call a friend or family member.
  • If you are celebrating where you can grab a room, do it!
  • If you are in the city, plan on walking, or taking the subway or bus, make sure you have a sober companion. Strength in numbers!

In 2014, 9,967 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes. These alcohol-impaired fatalities accounted for more 31% of the total motor vehicle traffic facilities in the United States. That is crazy! And it is even worse during the holiday season. Alcohol-impaired drivers were involved in 37% of traffic fatalities during the Christmas holiday period and 44% of traffic fatalities over New Year’s – making the winter holiday seasons one of the deadliest times to be on the road.

Remember, even if you only have a little bit to drink and think you’re “okay to drive,” you could still be over the legal limit, because Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. SO many times I have heard someone say “Oh it’s okay, I only had a couple, and I am fine to drive.” But in reality, that is probably far from the truth.

Take the pledge and ask your friends and family to do the same! This is not a topic to be shy about! Get the word out and YOU might just help save a life.