During the month of March, many college students are already enjoying (or soon will be on) their spring break. This means a lot of young adults are attending evening parties or frequenting the nightclubs, which can also involve the consumption of alcoholic beverages.
While younger drivers would like to think they’re good drivers, their lack of experience makes them more likely than older drivers to underestimate or recognize dangerous situations. This includes driving late at night and impaired driving.
Research has shown that even a small amount of alcohol can impair your driving skills. Remember, when you drink and drive, you not only endanger yourself, but others in the vehicle and on the road. Here are some driving safety tips to follow during spring break and year-round:
If you drink, don't drive
Simple as that. If you find yourself drinking at a party or while on your vacation, don’t get behind the wheel. Even one alcoholic drink can impair your judgment while navigating the road.
Before you go out for the evening, have a plan on where you’re going, how long you’ll be out, and how you’ll get back home. Make sure you and your friends are all on the same page, and agree on check-in times and meeting places in the event you get separated.
Have someone in the group be the designated driver
Remember that the designated driver has to be alcohol-free, NOT the one who drank the least that evening. Make the decision on who will be the designated driver before going out, and then stick to the plan. Take turns being the designated driver on different occasions, so it is not always one person who is responsible.
Don’t ride in a car with a driver under the influence
Never put your life in jeopardy by riding with someone who is drinking and driving; ask a friend or relative to pick you up from your location to take you home. While you can’t always control the actions of others and their drinking behavior, you have every right to make the smart choice in protecting yourself from harm.
Friends don’t let friends drive drunk
If your friend had a few drinks and wants to drive home, you should step in and prevent him or her from getting on the road. Offer to find your friend another way home via taxi or through a rideshare service to prevent them from driving while intoxicated and putting themselves in danger. They can come back the next day to get their parked car when they’re sober.
Stay the night: If you do decide to drink, another option is to stay at a hotel or friend’s house near the event. Compared to a DUI or a serious accident, arranging to stay somewhere else is a good way to stay safe.