Drunk Driving – How You Can Help
By: Good2GoPublished: April 20, 2015
The month of April is Driving Awareness Month. It’s a month to reflect on personal driving habits and overall safety principles. Drunk driving is one of the most popular topics of discussion this time of year. The topic ignites a powder keg of emotion for a lot of people. No state, family, or individual has been completely immune from its devastating effects.
For today we’re not going to dwell on the darker side of the drunk driver equation. Rather, we’re going to focus on methods of prevention, for this, like other forms of distracted driving is entirely preventable.
Awareness is the key to prevention! The hope in bringing more attention to problems, such as drunk driving, is the eventual elimination of the issue and all of the negative impact that goes along with it.
There are tons of amazing resources available to increase our awareness of the dangers associated with drinking and driving. We need to continually refine the use of our media coverage, educational programs in schools, governmental programs, and support campaigns by groups such as MADD to attain this goal.
As individuals, we need to apply this knowledge and common sense into our social plans, especially if those plans include alcohol. We need to put safety measures in place for our protection and that of others. A designated, non-drinking, driver is an absolute must.
If you know your friend has been drinking and partying, it is important that you stop him/her from driving. The myth that drinking coffee, getting some fresh air, or taking a cold shower will get you sober enough to drive safely just isn’t true. The only way to sober up is to allow the alcohol enough time to leave your system. If you’re unsure if you’re under the legal limit it is best to play it safe and find an alternative means of transportation.
Approaching an intoxicated friend set on getting behind the wheel can be a tough task, but keep in mind that you could be saving their life or the life of an innocent person.
Local and state authorities also have programs in place to stop drunk driving. Being aware of the laws and their consequences is a good deterrent for most drivers. Sobriety checkpoints, mass media campaigns to enhance social awareness, and administrative license revocation laws are also useful strategies to reduce or prevent drunk driving.
No matter what methods, rules, or types of enforcement are used, the important thing to remember throughout the process is that the lives saved are worth the costs and efforts involved.
How to Spot a Drunk Driver
The same signs of impaired driving the police look for are the same things we too are capable of observing. Why should we care? As safe drivers, being aware of dangerous situations protects us, our passengers and those around us.
Some of the warning signs that a driver might be impaired are:
- Exaggerated or erratic movements
- Driving too fast or too slow, or inconsistent speeds
- Ignoring traffic signals and signs
What to Do if You See a Drunk Driver
The last thing anyone wants to see is a car weaving or driving recklessly in some fashion down the road. Unfortunately, there is a good chance you have encountered a drunk driver; it happens daily. Many drivers get on the road after they have been drinking with little thought to the possible consequences, endangering us all. In this case, the question most of us want an answer to is, “What do we do?”
- Follow sound defensive driving techniques such as making sure you have enough room to avoid the other car if necessary.
- Don’t confront the driver in any way.
- Call 911 and let them know the situation.
- Always keep your personal safety the priority but if possible gather as much information as possible when you call 911. Things such as the license plate, color and make of car, your location are very helpful.
- The rest is best left up to the police; they are trained to handle these situations.
To help raise awareness about impaired driving and spread the word to your friends and loved ones, use these resources below:
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