Drinking and Driving

Drinking and Driving - A Deadly Combination

Every 22 minutes, someone will die in an alcohol-related traffic accident. Although you probably think that it could never happen to you, experts say everyone has a 40-percent chance of being in a crash involving alcohol use sometime in their life.

According to a Gallup survey funded by State Farm for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), drunken driving is our No. 1 highway safety problem. Through education, increased law enforcement and stiffer penalties, the number of alcohol-related traffic accidents can be reduced.

What You Can Do To Protect Yourself And Others

The Social Drinker

If you drink, be responsible.

When with a group, choose a designated driver. Having one person agree to drink only non-alcoholic beverages and provide transportation for other members of the group can save lives

The Good Host

Here are some things you can do as a host to ensure responsible drinking at a social function:

  • Provide plenty of non-alcoholic beverage.
  • Do not pressure guests to drink.
  • Serve food to slow the rate of absorption of alcohol.
  • Stop the flow of liquor at least one hour before the party is over.
  • If guests drink too much, call a cab or arrange a ride with a sober driver.

The Encounter With The Drunken Driver

When you drive, you want to protect yourself and others you love. So, be alert and watch out for impaired drivers.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drivers under the influence of alcohol often display certain characteristics when on the road. Please keep them in mind to avoid a dangerous situation.

  • Making wide turns.
  • Weaving, swerving, drifting or straddling the center line.
  • Almost striking an object or vehicle.
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road.
  • Driving at a very slow speed.
  • Stopping without cause.
  • Braking erratically.
  • Slow response to traffic signals.
  • Turning abruptly or illegally.
  • Driving with headlights off.

If you are in front of the drunken driver turn right at the nearest intersection and let him or her pass. If the driver is in front of you, stay a safe distance behind. And if the driver is coming at you, slow down, move to the right and stop. Notify police of the description and license plate as soon as possible. If calling from a cellular phone, follow the directions of the dispatcher.

In the continuing fight against drunken driving, the message is clear: If you drink, don’t drive. If you’re serving alcohol at a party, think safety. After all, while drinking may be considered fun, it isn’t fun if you or someone you know gets hurt or dies.

What Does The Public Say About Drunken Driving?

In a Gallup survey funded by State Farm for MADD public attitudes toward drunken driving were measured.

The study revealed that:

  • Two in five people personally know someone killed or injured by a drunk driver.
  • Fifty-five percent know someone who has been convicted of drunken driving.
  • People are less likely to drink and drive because they fear injuring or killing other people and themselves.
  • Fear of jail is another reason why people are less likely to drive while under the influence of alcohol.
  • Of people who drink alcoholic beverage, nearly half use a designated driver in social situations.
  • Nearly 50 percent said the penalty for first-offense drunken driving isn’t severe enough.
  • More than 70 percent favor random police sobriety checkpoints.

Courtesy of State Farm Insurance 190-5118