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.
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