National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

On December 1, 2015, President Obama issued a statement proclaiming December 2015 as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. While we face many dangers on the road that are beyond our control, such as defective vehicles and dangerous weather conditions, impaired driving remains the most common cause of auto accidents. It is something that we can all work to prevent. Impaired driving includes intoxications of all types, fatigue, and distracted driving.

Types of Impairment

The first step in preventing impaired driving is recognizing the less obvious forms of impairment. When we use the term “impaired driving” most people think of drunk driving and sometimes drugged driving. Rarely do we think of the dangers of distracted driving, fatigue, or impairment with over-the-counter (OTC) medications as being on par with alcohol impairment. But studies show that we need to change our thinking. It is time to start treating all types of impairment equally. These include:

  • Drunk driving
  • Driving under the influence recreational, prescription, and OTC drugs
  • Fatigue
  • Distracted driving including texting and talking on a cell phone, even hands-free

What Can You Do?

Obviously, you can start by refraining from driving while impaired, but what about other drivers on the road. While you can’t control the behavior of strangers in the cars, you can take an active stance with friends and family.

Refuse to ride with impaired drivers. If you are in the vehicle with a driver who refuses to stop texting or engaging in another dangerous activity, ask him to pull over at the nearest safe location and let you out or let you drive. Let your loved ones know that you will not be a part of impaired driving.


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