The Fourth of July is right around the corner!
Whether attending a family picnic or viewing the local fireworks display, many of us will be on the road this Independence Day.
So I though I'd take a moment to mention the dangers of buzzed driving and to remind people that Buzzed Driving IS Drunk Driving, and the best way to stay safe is simply to plan ahead.
This is an issue that really hits home for me, as my mother passed away in a drunk driving accident in 2001.
I'm pretty sure most people are "aware" of the dangers of drinking and driving, and don't specifically plan on getting plastered, then getting in their vehicle and driving.
But that's where the danger lies - in not planning ahead.
Many people, I'm sure, will have a few drinks and think they are okay to drive, when in reality, they might not be. That's what booze does to people!
Here are some steps you should take to protect your loved ones on the Fourth of July:
1.) Designate a sober driver before you leave for your Fourth of July events.
2.) Be ready to take alternate transportation such as a bus or taxi.
3.) Have the phone number of a taxi service stored in your phone before you leave for the party.
4.) Call 9-1-1 if you see an impaired driver on the road.
Even if you will not be drinking alcoholic beverages this Fourth of July, keep in mind that over the course of 2008, 1,179 people in other vehicles were killed in crashes involving alcohol-impaired drivers.
And there were a total of 491 motor vehicle traffic fatalities during the Fourth of July Holiday period (Thursday, July 3rd, 6 pm to Monday, July 7th, 5:59 am).
And for those who say they don't plan on over-indulging . . . a buzzed driving crash looks the same as a drunk driving crash.
To learn more about the impact buzzed driving can have on a life, please watch this important video about the financial and personal repercussions of getting a DUI.
Remember: Buzzed Driving IS Drunk Driving.
Plan ahead and ask your loved ones to do the same.
As a member of the Global Influence Network, I opted to write this post as part of their campaign with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) and the Ad Council as they continue their efforts with the "Buzzed Driving IS Drunk Driving" PSA. Statistics were provided to me by Global Influence Network.