December marks a time of year of togetherness, family, and appreciation for all we hold dear. Yet you may be surprised to learn that statistically, December is one of the most dangerous months for driving. In fact the time between Christmas and New Year’s sees an average increase in fatalities involving alcohol impaired drivers by 34%.
Every day nearly 30 people in the United States die in a vehicle crash involving an alcohol-impaired driver, equating to one death every 51 minutes. Ssomeone experiences an injury from an alcohol related crash every 2 minutes. The annual financial cost equates to more than $59 billion dollars, along with the incalculable toll on individuals and their families.
Statistics aside, how exactly do drugs and alcohol result in impairment and therefore dangerous driving?
Both alcohol and marijuana are known to negatively impact ones’ coordination and reaction time, a potentially lethal combination on roadways where quick reactions are needed. Both also impair judgement as well as vision, namely peripheral vision, which can lead to potentially unnoticed road hazards. Many categories of prescription drugs can cause significant impairment, with symptoms such as drowsiness, confusion, and reduced judgment. Just as texting, talking on your cell phone, and other activities can distract drivers, driving impaired acts as a distraction for your mind, lessening your awareness and increasing the potential for making poor decisions.
Read more here.
If you are not working, but you are still eligible for Plan coverage under the collective bargaining agreement, you may continue your coverage under the Plan by making monthly payments to the Plan during your period(s) of leave. You must notify the Health and Welfare office when you return to work.
If you are out on Workers’ Compensation, you must also make your monthly payments directly to the Health & Welfare Plan because they are not deducted from your paycheck or from your Workers’ Compensation benefits.
Payments are due on the first of the month. It is your responsibility to make your Health & Welfare payments on time. The Plan does not send notices of delinquent payments, nor will it send you a bill. If you do not make your payments on time, your coverage under the Plan will end. Consider permitting the Plan to deduct payments from your bank account. Contact the Plan for more information.
Coverage will retroactively end as of the monthly premium payment due date if the required monthly premium payment is not paid within 30 days from the due date (e.g., if the monthly premium payment for September, which is due on September 1, is not paid by September 30th, coverage would be terminated as of September 1). If coverage is terminated due to non-payment of the required monthly premium payment, you may again become covered (on a prospective basis) by sending in the required monthly premium payment for future coverage. Your coverage will re-start as of the first day of the month following receipt of the required monthly premium payment. You will not be permitted to retroactively reinstate coverage for any period of coverage that terminated due to non-payment of the required monthly premium payment.
If you are on a leave of absence for military duty, you are permitted to continue medical, dental, prescription drug, and vision benefit coverage under this Plan for you and your covered dependents in accordance with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA). Please see the “If You Enter Military Service” section on the Life Events page for more information.
If your coverage ends due to termination of your employment with METRO, you may be eligible for COBRA for you and your family. Although METRO will notify the Health & Welfare Plan of your termination, you are also encouraged to inform the Health & Welfare Plan to avoid any delay.
If you lose Plan coverage due to the termination of your employment or any other reason, you may want to look into purchasing health coverage through a Health Insurance Marketplace.