Responsible Driving and Holiday Drinking

Responsible Driving & Holiday Drinking

During the holiday season, the alcohol seems to flow freely. Office parties, family gatherings, and the actual holidays themselves keep you busy and your cup full of many different drinks. Combined with more stress than other times of the year, and people just naturally have more opportunity and reason to drink. Many of the most dangerous days for drunk drivers on the road happen during the holiday season for different reasons, including depression and stress. Here is a breakdown of the worst days for drunk driving during this time of year.

Black Wednesday

Many police departments refer to the day before Thanksgiving as “Black Wednesday” because there are so many drunk drivers on the road. Since most college students go on a break, they party before heading home. Others are drinking as they prepare food for Thanksgiving. Whatever the reason, this is a bad day for drunk driving.

Thanksgiving Day

While this day isn’t known for being a drinking holiday, it is a day where people eat way too much food. With that food, comes a lot of alcohol. As one of the most traveled days of the year, people put themselves and others around them at a higher risk when driving around.

Black Friday

Black Friday makes the third day in a row for a very dangerous week for travel. People celebrating with their families the day before, combined with all the shopping deals that start in the morning, those who drive under the influence increase in number.

Christmas Eve/Christmas Day

One of the most traditional days of the year includes more gathering, eating, and drinking. Most of the drinking occurs as Christmas Eve goes on, while dining, wrapping presents, preparing for the next day, etc. and don’t think before getting behind the wheel of a car.

New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day

The longer New Year’s Eve goes on, the more drunk people become. It contributes to the number of New Year’s Day stats because people stay out partying well past midnight. New Year’s Eve is the day with the most arrests of the year.

Staying Safe

While you can’t control the actions of others, there are a few things you can do to keep yourself from drunk driving. They all wrap up into one main idea though; plan before you drink.

  • Designate a friend to not drink who can drive everyone home.
  • Arrange for a taxi, Uber, Lyft, or another driving service to pick you up at a certain time.
  • Tell others your plan to ask them to help keep you accountable.
  • Remind all the people in your party to not drive after drinking. You might save some lives.

A little planning beforehand is all that is required to keep yourself, and everyone on the road around you, safe. If you don’t have a plan before you drink, you are more likely to make bad decisions. No one wants to spend the holidays in the hospital or mourning the loss of a loved one. All too often, that is what happens though when people choose to drink and drive. Make sure you aren’t the reason for sadness for your family or those on the road during the holiday season.

Traveling Safe for the Holidays

Traveling Safe for the Holidays

The last two months of the year are the most popular times to travel. Everyone wants to be with their families during the holidays, and that means going long distances. Before you set out to Grandma’s house, make sure that you follow these tips to get you there safely.

Give it a check-up

Making sure your vehicle gets a look over is a good idea before any road trip. Check the air pressure and tread on your tires. Any maintenance, like changing belts, refilling fluids, and changing the oil will help with vehicle efficiency and decrease chances of a breakdown. If you do have car trouble, make sure you pull off the road as far as possible to avoid getting hit or causing traffic problems.

Obey the law

Make wise choices and obey even simple laws. To make sure you have a safe drive, remember the following tips:

  • No driving over the speed limit
  • No texting while driving
  • No drinking and driving
  • No drowsy driving

Nothing ruins a vacation like getting in a crash or getting a traffic ticket. Use care to keep everyone in your car, and on the road around you, safe.

Use technology

Make sure you have a phone in your car in case something goes wrong or if you need directions. It is helpful to make sure you have a charger in your car to keep it charged. If your insurance has a special app or service that allows you to get roadside assistance, make sure you have that all figured out before you hit the road. It’s important to use all the tools available when going a long distance. Whether it is blowing a tire or a problem under the hood, it’s great to know that you can get help if you need it.

Know your limits

If you are traveling with the family in tow, make sure you know the limits. Plan frequent stops for kids who need to use the bathroom a lot. Switch drivers if you get too tired. Refill on gas when you have the chance and don’t push too far on a tank of gas. These will all lead to unexplained stops and putting your vehicle at risk on the side of a road.

Stock your vehicle

Before starting the drive, it is important you have your car stocked with goods. People are usually good about making sure they have a lot of snacks and drinks, but there are other things to consider. Some things to keep in your car, especially on a trip, are:

  • A first-aid kit
  • Spare tire
  • A set of tools
  • Extra water bottles
  • Any necessary medications
  • A jacket or coat, just in case of bad weather

It’s always a good idea to follow the old Boy Scout adage to “be prepared” and keep anything necessary in the car, or up front with a responsible adult. Many people feel more comfortable keeping a credit card or some cash in the glove box.

Planning for the worst will always pay off in an emergency. While no one wants to stress the whole vacation, it is good to plan for these situations beforehand. Once you cover all the basics of making sure you are traveling safely, you can enjoy your holidays.