The snow is falling, the trees are lit, and our holiday traditions are underway. Between work, gift shopping, family events, and social events, many of us will be running constantly this month. Paired with the alcohol served at many holiday events, worsening road conditions, and increased traffic, our normal safety precautions may be forgotten or insufficient.
SCRAM Systems, makers of alcohol- and location-monitoring systems used by law enforcement, has issued data that indicates the most dangerous time of the year for DUI incidents begins at Thanksgiving and continues into New Year’s. 51% of drunk drivers claim to drink more during the holidays than the rest of the year, coordinating with the 50% of people who say that their family holiday traditions include alcohol. 40% of traffic-related deaths during the holiday period are caused by drunk driving, while drunk drivers cause 28% of deaths the rest of the year. In terms of specific holidays, this number becomes 35% on Thanksgiving, 41% on Christmas, and 58% on New Year’s. These issues continue after the parties, as 96% of adults state they have gone to work hungover or know someone who has.
Combat the Trend
Pennsylvania participates in the NHTSA’s Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, which focuses police resources on identifying and citing DUIs. This system includes high-visibility patrols and DUI checkpoints. According to the Daily Times News, PA state police busted 314 drunk drivers just between December 23 and December 26 last year, not including those caught in that same period by local law enforcement. SCRAM also suggests ideas on reducing alcohol use during this time. They advise finding non-alcoholic drinks one enjoys and having those at social events, complete with links to drink options. They also recommend beginning new alcohol-free traditions, making other plans for dealing with events which may drive one to drink, and finding joy in becoming a designated driver.
Be safe this year and help break the trend of increased road danger during the holiday season. We at Marcus & Mack wish you all a safe and happy holiday, filled with joy and warm memories. We urge all drivers to take precautions against drunk driving. Drunk driving can not only destroy the holiday cheer for yourself and others, but also puts lives directly at risk. If you or a loved one is the victim of an auto accident this season, let us help you get the justice you deserve.