Although the holidays are meant to be a time when family and friends get together to laugh and love, tragedy can unfortunately strike. This is largely because the holidays are also a time when people tend to consume more alcohol and then get behind the wheel. Sadly, according to the US National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, drunk drivers are responsible for 40 percent of car crash deaths during Christmas and New Year’s. It marks a 12 percent increase of such deaths in comparison to the rest of December.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, around 30 people in the United States die every single day because of car accidents in which someone was under the influence of alcohol. In 2012, over 10,000 people were killed in accidents involving alcohol consumption. During the holidays, there are several fatalities that stem from driving under the influence; therefore, it’s essential for drivers to be smart when driving during the holidays.
Damage from Holiday Drinking and Driving
The US Department of Transportation states that around 300 people die every year in the few days between Christmas and New Year’s Day. On average, 27 people die daily in the month of December due to crashes involving drunk driving. During the year itself, over 10,000 people die in car accidents due to drunk driving.
More People Drive Drunk over the Holidays
With all the holiday parties and days off from work, more people drink during the holidays. As a result, more inebriated driving takes place. Not surprisingly, roadway fatalities spike during the holidays. In efforts to curb drunk driving, law enforcement officers are often out in full force during the holidays, ready to nab DUI suspects.
People who normally don’t drink do so during the holiday season. These people have a lower tolerance for alcohol and sometimes end up getting behind the wheel. Individuals with serious alcohol problems also drink more and get behind the wheel during the holiday season. The combination of the increased number of intoxicated drivers and weather conditions on the road can be deadly.
Avoiding Alcohol-Related Holiday Problems
The best thing to do is to avoid drinking if you are going to drive. If you plan on drinking, there is no longer an excuse for drinking and driving. With new technologies like Uber and Lyft, it is possible for a driver to escort you to and from your destination for a nominal fee. Many drivers simply don’t want to leave their car at the location of the event when they are ready to leave, yet believe it when you hear that a DUI can cost tens of times more than a simple ride.
You can also call for a cab if you have alcohol in your system or ask to spend the night at the location if it’s at a friend or family member’s home. No matter what, always take the proper precautions during the holidays and anytime you plan on drinking and you have your car with you.