The holidays are upon us, and Americans are excitedly traveling to family homes, shopping hotspots and friendly parties. It is a wonderful time of the year for celebrating and being with loved ones. That is why it is so important to be aware of the dangers that impaired driving present during the holiday season.
While most Americans have a general awareness of these threats, there are still many who are uneducated about how this easily preventable problem could affect them and their loved ones on a personal level. That is why President Barack Obama designated December as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month.
What is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month?
This special proclamation by the president was enacted to warn and educate all Americans of the dangers that impaired driving can create for drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. Through this effort, Obama and the U.S. government hope to promote responsible choices and prevent this deadly behavior that robs people of beloved family members and friends.
Although impaired driving presents a constant threat all year long, there is a noticeable spike in road traffic during holiday travel. These numbers go up even higher in the month of December as families go on shopping trips and family outings ahead of the big travel days to spend time together. It is also a time when increased celebration also means increased alcohol consumption, and it is the hope that NIDPM can help Americans to realize the importance of not mixing travel and alcohol.
National Impaired Driving Prevention Month was first recognized in 2012 when impaired driving accidents were becoming an epidemic that especially affected young people. In 2013, over 10,000 people were killed in an accident involving a drunk driver; that is one person every 53 minutes. The number had decreased slightly by 2015, but still, 28 people die every day as a result of drunk driving crashes. By far, the highest percentage of these were young people. In 2011, the percentage of impaired driving accidents involved:
- 32 percent between ages 21 to 24
- 30 percent between ages 25 to 34
- 24 percent between ages 35 to 44
Although these numbers do not account for drivers under the legal drinking age, many of them are involved in crashes involving other substances. A survey from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration showed that in 2010, 13.2 percent of drivers over age 16 operated a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Meanwhile, 4.3 percent of those people ages 16 and older drove under the use of illicit drugs in that same year.
Due to increased traffic and celebration, these numbers significantly increase during the holiday season. It is important for all Americans to be aware of the dangers of impaired driving and educate family members, especially the youth of America. Through education and prevention efforts like NIDPM, we hope that everyone will have a happy and safe holiday season in 2016 and bring in a safer year in 2017!
One major task that is a must for your 2017 to-do list should be making sure that all of your insurance policies are updated. If you wish to review your current policy or want to inquire about purchasing new coverage, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at (800) 443-7007 or receive an online auto insurance estimate by clicking here.