New Year’s is coming soon, one of the busiest driving times of the year. It’s also one of the most dangerous holidays, not only because of increased traffic, but also because drinking and driving is much more prevalent. In fact, more than 42 percent of all traffic deaths during the holiday season are caused by intoxicated drivers. We’ve put together a list of New Year’s driving tips to help you stay safe on the road.
According to the Huffington Post, the most important thing to remember is to get a designated driver. If you plan on drinking during the holiday, be sure you have a way home. Although you’ve probably heard it before, it can’t be stressed enough. Alcohol not only makes you tired, but it also slows reaction time and brain activity, issues that can lead to fatal accidents.
If you’re the designated driver, set some ground rules. First, be sure that everyone wears a seatbelt. Make sure you are undistracted—if someone is too rowdy, send them home in a cab. Just because you haven’t been drinking doesn’t mean that you won’t be distracted by others. Also, if you notice drunk drivers on the road, be sure to pull over and call the police. Look for people who swerve, slam on the brakes, or speed.
Finally, don’t fall for the old myth that coffee sobers you up. The only way to get sober is to wait—plain and simple. Although coffee can act as a stimulant, your reaction time is still slowed, and brain activity is still stunted. Again, call a cab or get a ride if alcohol touches your lips.