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Ways to Protect Your Family from Drunk Drivers

protection from drunk drivers

Drunk driving is a threat that puts all families at risk. 37 lives are lost every day due to impaired drivers getting behind the wheel. In 2021, 13,384 people were killed because of drunk drivers.

Read on for five essential ways you can create barriers between your family and intoxicated motorists. With preparation and vigilance, we can work together to remove these hazards from our roads.

#1 Drive Defensively

Being a defensive driver is one of the best ways to avoid drunk drivers. Pay attention to your surroundings, keep your distance from other vehicles, stick to speed limits, and avoid distractions like cell phones. Assume other drivers may make sudden lane changes or stops. If you see a car drifting or driving recklessly, give them plenty of space. Don't assume they'll snap out of it - take evasive action if needed.

Defensive driving gives you time to react and avoid a potential collision with a drunk driver. Remember, even with a BAC of just 0.2 G/DL, there is a decline in visual function and some loss of judgment.

#2 Plan Ahead and Be the Designated Driver

Whenever your family goes out, make sure to have a plan for getting home safely. Volunteer to be the designated driver so no one drives impaired. If you dine out, call a rideshare or taxi as your transportation home – there are over 1.7 million rideshare drivers in the US, so it won’t be hard to find one in a city. Consider using public transportation like subways and buses as they have sober operators.

Planning your transportation ahead of time ensures your family avoids putting an impaired driver behind the wheel. Don't let friends or family members drive if they've been drinking - take their keys and call them a ride.

#3 Educate Your Kids About Drunk Driving Risks

Top car accident attorney Christopher Davis advises you to “have open conversations with your children about the dangers of drunk driving”. In 2021, 27% of teens aged 15-20 had drunk some alcohol before being involved in a fatal crash. Explain why it's so unsafe and what behaviors to avoid, like riding in a car with an impaired driver. Teach them to contact you or another trusted adult if they ever feel unsafe getting in a car. Role model responsible behavior by never driving impaired yourself.

#4 Limit Late Night Driving

Many drunk driving accidents occur late at night after bars close. Limit driving your family during high-risk times like evenings and weekends when drunk drivers are most prevalent. Run necessary errands earlier in the day and avoid being on the road late if possible. If you must drive at night, be extra vigilant in watching for drivers displaying signs of impairment. Eliminating unnecessary late night trips reduces your chances of encountering drunk drivers in the dark.

#5 Report Suspected Drunk Drivers

If you witness extremely dangerous driving and suspect impairment, report them to the police. Provide license plate details, car make and model, location, and driving behaviors. This allows law enforcement to locate the vehicle and potentially get a drunk driver off the road before they cause a tragedy. Many drunk drivers have prior arrests, so you may prevent repeat offenses. No tip is too small. One call could save lives.

With smart prevention, we can eliminate these entirely preventable threats on the road.