Home > Ask Gary, Gary Jaffarian, Uncategorized > With all the holiday parties this month serving alcohol, legalization of pot and more people on prescription drugs, how can I possibly feel safe on the roads?
With all the holiday parties this month serving alcohol, legalization of pot and more people on prescription drugs, how can I possibly feel safe on the roads?
Gary Jaffarian shares information in conjunction with these national initiatives: Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving and National Drugged and Drunk Driving Prevention Week, and National Impaired Driving Prevention Month.
I completely understand how you feel. One thing is certain – you can only control your vehicle and not others. That is why it is so important for you to be sure you have your seat belt buckled and that you drive defensively— watching out for the other vehicles on the road. It is important that you stay focused on driving and not be distracted by calls and texts. The holidays are known for joy of the season, parties and fun, but it is also the deadliest season when it comes to drunk driving. Every holiday season, lives are lost due to drunk drivers. We also need to be concerned about people who are high on drugs or taking prescription drugs that may impair their judgment when driving.
Although I write about this topic on a regular basis—it needs to be addressed again and again—because it is a matter of life and death. We need to keep this topic alive to keep more drivers alive. Drunk driving is a deadly epidemic that takes the lives of more than 10,000 people each year, on average. Remember to “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and if you’re feeling a little “buzzed” you are drunk and should not be driving.
You always have choices: don’t drink (or perhaps just one); get a ride with a friend who is the designated driver; stay overnight; or take public transportation, call a taxi or Uber driver.
Of the 328 motor vehicle-related fatalities in Massachusetts in 2014, 38% involved alcohol-impaired driving where the BAC (blood alcohol content) of a driver was .08 or higher. As far as I am concerned, this means 125 people would still be alive if not for driving while intoxicated. That means they are preventable deaths.
In a recent roadside survey, 22% of all drivers tested positive for some drug or medication. If you take a medication that may impair your ability to drive, please check with your physician or pharmacist if there is another option that won’t affect your ability to drive. If you need to take that specific medication, try to get a ride or arrange a carpool. Always check the side effects when taking a new medication and never drink alcohol while on medications that may be affected by alcohol consumption. According to StopDruggedDriving.org, 20% of crashes in the country are caused by drivers under the influence of drugs. Drugged drivers cause approximately 440,000 injuries, 6,761 deaths, and $59.9 billion in damages per year.
There are many factors that impair one’s ability to drive—and the biggest issue to prevent accidents is not to read or send texts while driving. There are currently effective highway billboards reminding all of us that “Better left unread then dead.” As we incur more stress, more parties and busier schedules going into the holiday season, please drive carefully and refrain from drinking, texting or using recreational drugs—whether legal or not.
Enjoy the beginning of this holiday season! Remember to drop by Jaffarian Volvo Toyota’s showroom at 600 River Street in Haverhill with your donations for Emmaus House, an organization that provides services and housing for needy families in our area. New, unwrapped items are welcome including mittens and winter coats, pajamas, sox and toys. We want to fill the back of a Toyota Tundra truck with your donations and ours. With your help, we continue to give back to our local community to make the holiday season brighter for others in need.