It’s that time of year again! The holidays are an exciting, but busy time of year, especially for those who have to travel a far distance to their holiday destination. While many people fly around the holidays, the majority of people drive. Last year alone, AAA predicted 93.6 million people to be traveling on the on the roads. It can be predicted that that number could grow even higher this year, so it’s extremely important that everyone is safe on the roads. Our law office at the Lake of the Ozarks found this great article that contained many safe driving tips and some key information we feel could greatly help people to be safer and more alert on the roads.
Here are a few tips and short term fixes (https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drowsy-driving) to stay awake behind the wheel.
– The best countermeasure to drowsy driving is to get enough rest on a daily basis. Sleep is the only true preventative measure against the risks of drowsy driving. Make it a priority to get 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
– Before the start of a long family car trip, get a good night’s sleep, or you could put your entire family and others at risk.
– Many teens do not get enough sleep at the same time that their biological need for sleep increases, thereby increasing the risk of drowsy-driving crashes, especially on longer trips.
– Avoid drinking any alcohol before driving. Consumption of alcohol interacts with sleepiness to increase drowsiness and impairment.
– If you take medications that could cause drowsiness as a side effect, use public transportation when possible. If you drive, avoid driving during the peak sleepiness periods (midnight – 6 a.m. and late afternoon).
– If you must drive during the peak sleepiness periods, stay vigilant for signs of drowsiness, such as crossing over roadway lines or hitting a rumble strip, especially if you’re driving alone.
Drunk drivers kill almost 30 people a day in the U.S.
Here are steps that everyone can take to help prevent drinking and driving (https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/drinkinganddriving/index.html).
Certain groups are more likely to drink and drive than others.
– Men were responsible for 4 in 5 episodes (81%) of drinking and driving in 2010.
– Young men ages 21-34 made up only 11% of the U.S. adult population in 2010, yet were responsible for 32% of all instances of drinking and driving.
– 85% of drinking and driving episodes were reported by people who also reported binge drinking. Binge drinking means 5 or more drinks for men or 4 or more drinks for women during a short period of time.
There are proven ways to prevent people from drinking and driving.
– At sobriety checkpoints, police stop drivers to judge if they are driving under the influence of alcohol. More widespread, frequent use of these checkpoints could save about 1,500 to 3,000 lives on the road each year.
– Minimum legal drinking age laws prohibit selling alcohol to people under age 21 in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Keeping and enforcing 21 as the minimum legal drinking age helps keep young, inexperienced drivers from drinking and driving.
– Ignition interlocks prevent drivers who were convicted of alcohol-impaired driving from operating their vehicles if they have been drinking. Interlocks are effective in reducing re-arrest rates from drinking and driving by about two-thirds while the device is on the vehicle.
Here are some risks on the road (https://www.cdc.gov/Features/OlderDrivers/index.html) with older drivers and learn steps you can take to protect yourself or someone you care about.
What you should know:
– In 2012, more than 5,560 older adults were killed in motor vehicle crashes and more than 214,000 were injured. This amounts to 15 older adults killed and 586 injured in crashes on average every day.
– Motor vehicle crash deaths per mile traveled among both men and women begin to increase markedly beginning at ages 70‒74.
– Age-related declines in vision and cognitive functioning (ability to reason and remember), as well as physical changes (such as arthritis or reduced strength), may affect some older adults’ driving abilities.
What you can do:
Driving plays an important role in many older adults’ mobility and independence. If you are a driver age 65 or older, you can make your time behind the wheel safer by:
– Asking your doctor or pharmacist to review your medicines (both prescription and over-the counter) to reduce possible side effects and drug interactions.
– Having your eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year, and wearing your glasses and contact lenses as required.
– Planning your route before you drive.
– Leaving a large following distance behind the car in front of you.
– Avoiding distractions in your car, such as listening to a loud radio, talking on your cell phone, texting, and eating.
– Considering potential alternatives to driving, such as riding with a friend or using public transit, that you could use to get around.
Be safe on the roads this holiday season! If you find yourself in a car accident over the holidays, get the legal help you deserve and call our experienced attorneys at the Lake of the Ozarks. Deputy and Mizell has 70+ years of combined legal experience in the Lake of the Ozarks, Camdenton, Lebanon, and Eldon. Call one of our offices listed below for a free consultation.
Contact Deputy & Mizell, LLC to schedule your private (FREE) consultation today.
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