It's a wonderful time of the year, and a potentially dangerous time of the year. Many people are spending more time on the road and engaged in festivities. Unfortunately, these are two things that often don't go very well together.
The Predicted Numbers
The National Safety Council (NSC) has recently released its traffic fatality estimates for the holiday periods (December 24th-the 28th and December 31st-January 4th). The NSC estimates 366 deaths and another 39,200 injuries due to car crashes during the first period, and 421 deaths alongside 45,000 injuries occurring during the second.
Luckily, this is just a projected reality, and there is still time to take precautions to ensure that our actual holiday reality is a safer, happier one.
Eliminate Impaired Driving
Ideally, every individual who participates in holiday parties would make a deliberate choice to not drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. To make this decision easier to make, many state safety departments are launching awareness programs and sobriety incentives this year. And the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched its annual anti-drunk driving campaign, along with the new SafeRide mobile app.
- "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over." The NHTSA reported a decline (2.5%) in drunk driving related deaths in 2013, but they want to see even better stats in 2014. From December 15th until January 1st, 10,000 participating police departments and law enforcement agencies will be out in force to pull drunk drivers off the roads.
- The SafeRide app leaves no room for excuses. Having access to this app allows users to call a taxi or friend by automatically identifying their location. The California Office of Traffic Safety has launched a similar mobile app, but this one also offers discounts to designated drivers at restaurants throughout the state.
- Marijuana use is a bigger issue this year. Because marijuana restrictions have loosened across the country, efforts have been made to increase awareness of the fact that stoned driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving. In Colorado and Washington State, where recreational marijuana is legal, policies and programs are being developed to support the message, "Drive High, Get a DUI."
Other Ways to Stay Holiday Safe
Staying sober on the roads isn't all that is needed to avoid unnecessary injuries while traveling. There are other important measures that should be taken.
- Buckle up every time that you're in a vehicle.
- Don't use electronic devices when you’re driving.
- Secure all children in size-appropriate restraints.
- Plan ahead for bad weather. Avoid bad weather if possible.
- Never drive when you are tired.
Is your Car Road Ready?
If you're planning to travel far this holiday season, and your car isn't as reliable as you would like it to be, maybe you should upgrade to something a little newer. Here at Auto Credit Express, we can get you the financing that you need to make that possible, regardless of what your credit looks like.
Just fill out our fast and secure application to get started on a safer New Year today.