As 2019 winds down, many of us have plenty of holiday parties, events and family gatherings to attend.
All those end-of-the-year festivities can be fun, but let’s make sure we end this year safely.
Before you head out on the road, it’s worth taking some time to plan ahead. If you’re attending a holiday party, please make sure you have a safe ride home.
Drive sober or get pulled over
Across the country, 10,511 people died from drunk-driving crashes in 2018, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
There are no excuses. If you have been drinking, don’t drive.
Here are some tips from NHTSA on how to plan ahead:
• Plan your safe ride home before you start the party. Choose a non-drinking friend as a designated driver.
• If someone you know has been drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel. Take their keys and help them arrange a sober ride home.
• If you drink, do not drive for any reason. Call a taxi, a ride-sharing service, or a sober friend.
• If you’re hosting a party where alcohol will be served, make sure all guests leave with a sober driver.
• Always wear your seat belt — it’s your best defense against impaired drivers.
• If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact local law enforcement. Your actions could help save someone’s life.
I encourage all of you to reflect on ways you can be a safer driver year-round.
For more safe-driving tips, please check out our Focus on Driving website (focusondriving.com).
As always, please share what you learn with your family and loved ones. I hope this holiday season is happy for you and your family.
Dallas Hammit is an engineer with the Arizona Department of Transportation.