It's once again Alcohol Awareness month. By default, that also means it's time to take a closer look at driving under the influence—one of the top causes of driver error, car accidents, and motor vehicle deaths.
In Virginia alone, drunk driving claims hundreds of lives annually. In 2014:
- 35.9% of all traffic fatalities (251 deaths) were caused by alcohol;
- More than 5,000 people were injured because of alcohol-related crashes;
- And, 6.4% of all crashes were caused by alcohol.
The most tragic part of alcohol-related accidents is that 100% of them are avoidable, or at least mitigated by driving sober.
Consider that if all drivers involved in 2014's crashes had called a cab or drank less, 251 lives could have been saved, and 5,000 people could have avoided hospital visits.
With those numbers in perspective, it's a no-brainer to avoid driving after consuming alcohol. Yet year in and year out, countless people choose to do just that.
Before heading out for a night of drinking, make it easy for you to avoid drunk driving. Make arrangements with a friend to stay the night, keep the number of a cab company or Uber at hand, or simply pace yourself and avoid binging.
Spending a few years in jail or being seriously injured isn't worth having an extra drink.
Please help us put an end to drunk driving, and get those figures from 2014 as close to zero as possible.