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A Silent Night is a Safe Night on the Roads

Driving at certain times of the year can raise my anxiety levels. Why? Any guesses what time of year I’m talking about?

If you said from the end of November through January, you would be correct, especially driving at night. There are so many celebrations, and I worry about people driving impaired.

Nearly 30 people die in drunk-driving crashes every day on U.S. roads. And, research shows, the number of nighttime drivers who test positive for other drugs is on the rise, too.

Impairment isn’t a new topic. It’s been a driving safety concern for a long time. But today there are so many ride choices, it is hard to understand why people continue to drive impaired. It is just as hard to understand why anyone would ride in a vehicle driven by someone who is in an altered state. Studies show marijuana impairs motor skills, lane tracking and cognitive functions.

Choices: Safe driving is all about choices. Safe options are my thing! Here are three:

  1. Plan for a safe ride before you go out
  2. Appoint a designated driver
  3. Call a taxi or ride-share service

If circumstances allow during the COVID-19 pandemic, many of your employees will be on the roads during the coming days and weeks, traveling with their families. Many also will be attending after-work social gatherings and corporate events. It seems this upcoming time of Yuletide fun brings about many opportunities for celebrations. Finding the right outfit – one that’s just perfect – making the right dish to bring, picking the perfect dirty Santa gift, all of these are items to consider as you make your list and check it twice.

How about safe driving? Make a plan before you go out. How about safety being at the top, in the middle and on the bottom of your planning list this year!

– Lisa Robinson is a senior program manager with the National Safety Council

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