Wednesday, December 17, 2014

National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

Not only are more people on the roads over the holidays, but there are more parties and more drinking going on. So it's especially good to make a plan when approaching parties where alcohol will be served. Know before-hand how you will handle getting home if you have consumed any amount of alcohol. Even if you don't feel you have consumed much, it's difficult to know when you have exceeded the legal limit for driving and it's important to know that "buzzed driving is drunk driving." Consider a taxi, a designated driver, or offer to be the designated driver for your friends and plan not to drink. Driving buzzed can be just as dangerous as driving drunk. 

Impaired Driving Prevention Month reminds us that drunk and buzzed drivers are not the only dangerous drivers to look out for on the road or to be aware of in our own behavior.

Driving under the influence of any type of psychoactive (mind-altering) drug poses a danger not only to you but to everyone on the road.

In 2010, 1 in 3 drivers who were killed in motor vehicle accidents tested positive for drugs (illicit and over-the-counter). With the increase in illicit drug use and over-the-counter substance abuse, as well as texting while driving, there are many conditions that create driving impairment. Any circumstance or substance that alters the mind and affects the motor skills, balance and coordination, perception, attention, reaction time, and judgment creates a deadly risk to anyone on the road.

Shortly behind alcohol, THC (the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana) has been found as the most common substance in impaired drivers.

"Vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among young people aged 16 to 19. When teens' relative lack of driving experience is combined with the use of marijuana or other substances that affect cognitive and motor abilities, the results can be tragic." -National Institute on Drug Abuse

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