Home > Ask Gary > Isn’t drinking and driving a young adult problem for the most part?

Isn’t drinking and driving a young adult problem for the most part?

sobrietytestLast week I discussed National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, focusing on the dangers of cell phone use. April is also Alcohol Awareness Month. This is perhaps the biggest driving issue for accidents and fatalities that could be totally eliminated without drinking and driving.

You are correct in thinking that drinking and driving fatalities correlate with age. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the statistics are as follows:

Age:               % of fatal crashes:

21-24               32%

25-34               30%

35-44               24%

45+                  14%

Some authorities focus on drinking and driving as a problem affecting only young people where the statistics are the highest, however, drinking and driving victims are people of all ages, professions and nationalities.

How big is the problem?

• Drugs other than alcohol (e.g., marijuana and cocaine) are involved in about 18% of motor vehicle driver deaths. These other drugs are often used in combination with alcohol.
• According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), every day nearly 30 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. This amounts to one death every 51 minutes.

Hosting a party or going to a party or bar? Here are some tips so you or someone else doesn’t become the next statistic:
• Avoid drinking too much, by limiting yourself to one alcoholic beverage or two, depending on what you drink at parties, pubs or other occasions. Then switch to non-alcoholic beer, ale, or try a cranberry and soda with a twist of lime, sparkling cider, or other “mocktails.”
• Try enjoying great conversation, play darts or pool, tell jokes or play charades.
• If alcohol is on the drink list, have a system of taking away vehicle keys of guests as they step in the door. Never let a drunk, even a tipsy person drive, even if they tell you they’re fine to drive. If it’s necessary, call a taxi, find them a ride home and have them pick their car up in the morning.
• Remind your guests to plan ahead and define a designated driver; offer alcohol-free beverages; and make sure all guests leave with a sober driver. It is your legal, moral and ethical obligation to be sure your guests will not cause harm to themselves or others on the road when attending your party.
• Never serve alcohol to minors, even in your own home.

What other safety steps can you take to ensure your safety and others in your vehicle or on the road?
• Whenever your social plans involve alcohol, make plans so that you don’t have to drive after drinking.
• Don’t let your friends drive impaired. Take their keys away, drive them home or call a cab. They may give you a hard time, but they will be grateful the next day.
• If you have been drinking, get a ride home, call a taxi, or stay over a friend’s home if possible or in a hotel. Never drink and drive, no matter how safe you think you’ll be. In 45 states including Massachusetts, there is a Designated Driver Service. Access this list before you go out.

At Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion, we are committed to your safety. During Alcohol Awareness Month, remind the young adults in your life of making good choices and take this opportunity to personally reflect on making good decisions. We want you arrive home safely each and every day.

Ask Gary Jaffarian

Categories: Ask Gary
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