Impaired driving is becoming a bigger epidemic every year. More and more drivers are getting on the road impaired by alcohol, marijuana, or illicit drugs. These substances can severely prohibit a motorist’s ability to see clearly, react quickly, and make decisions.
AAA gives 10 Prevention Tips:
- Be a designated driver.
- Educate friends and family members on the dangers of driving under the influence.
- Provide treatment and counseling options.
- Provide alternate transportation options such as Uber, Lyft, or a taxi service.
- Seek or refer others struggling with alcohol abuse to community assistance like local 12 step & AA groups.
- Seek or refer others to a mentorship program that emphasizes accountability.
- Correct the misperception that “everybody is drinking”.
- Teach youth ways to say no to alcohol. Use interactive teaching techniques (e.g., small-group activities, role plays, and peer leadership).
- Never provide alcohol to a minor.
- Revisit the topic over the years to reinforce prevention messages.
Alcohol is pretty much known by everyone to impair drivers, but there is still on average a death every 51 minutes caused by an alcohol related accident. State laws criminalize drinking and driving, but even at the legal BAC limit, 0.08%, drivers are five times as likely to be involved in a fatal crash and four times more likely to be involved in a crash of any kind.
Cannabis is known to impair coordination, cognition and reaction time. With legalization becoming more widespread, it is important to understand the risks of driving while high. When Washington state legalized the substance, the amount of fatal crashes involving marijuana doubled.I
Illicit drugs impair judgment, perception, attentiveness and coordination. A few weeks ago, in Wayne, NJ, three people were killed at a gas station when a kid overdosed on Heroin and died at the wheel and ran off the highway into the station. To read more about this accident, click here.P
Prescription and Over the Counter Medications
Prescription and over the counter medications can also severely impair a motorist’s ability to drive. This is especially true if the medications warning label says, “do not operate heavy machinery”.
To read more of AAA’s article on impaired driving, click here.
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