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December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

National impaired driving prevention month can help save lives.

National impaired driving prevention month can help save lives.

The National Highway Traffic Safetey Administration (NHTSA) has designated December to be National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, which is an effort to combat drunk and drugged driving to help reduce accidents and associated fatalities.

According to a release from the White House Office on National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Director Gil Kerlikowske, 1 out of 3 drivers who were killed in a motor vehicle crash in 2010 with known test results wound up testing positive for drugs. This included illicit drugs as well as prescription drugs and even over-the-counter medications. The ONDCP leader also states that the involvement of drugs in fatal crashes increased by 6 percentage points over the past 6 years.

Mother’s Against Drunk Driving (MADD) claims that 25 people were killed in drunk driving crashes per day on average in December of 2010, and that the Holidays make this month one of the busiest for travel.

Tips For Avoiding Impaired Driving

  • Read manufacturers labels on all medications (prescription or over-the-counter) and heed cuations about operating motor vehicles.
  • Limit your alcohol consumption, be sure to consume food and allow time before driving. There is no reason to risk it.
  • Plan to have a designated driver, use public transportation or call a taxi if you’re going to have more than a couple drinks.
  • Stay away from illicit drugs altogether.
  • To help others stay safe on the roadways, report suspected impaired drivers and don’t let friends and family members get behind the wheel if you suspect they have had too much to drink or are under the influence of another drug.

Many people who have legitimate prescriptions for narcotic painkillers, sedatives or tranquilizers are not fully aware of the dangers that those and other drugs can pose to themselves and others when operating a vehicle. It is best to not drive when taking such medications.

In addition to occaisional users of alcohol and drugs, many impaired drivers are actually dependent on these substances and are in need of rehabilitation help. If you or a loved one needs assistance finding a rehab or treatment center, we can help.

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