The statistics are as familiar as they are depressing. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD), two out of three people will be affected by drunk driving in their lifetime. The U.S. economic toll for deaths and injuries from such crashes is $52 billion annually. These costs, combined with the costs of other crashes, impact consumers who pay insurance premiums.
Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens, and about a quarter of those crashes involve an underage drinking driver. But the statistics don't do justice to the pain and loss suffered by drunk driving victims and their families—the parents who have lost children, husbands and wives who have lost their spouses, kids who have lost their parents.
Help the fight against drunk driving with these tips:
- Choose a non-drinking designated driver if you will be consuming alcohol.
- Ask for a ride. There are many alternatives to help you get home safely.
- Protect others by taking their keys if they attempt to drive after consuming alcohol. They may be mad at you, but the alternative could be much worse
When throwing a party
- Offer non-alcoholic beverages. Water, juice, soda pop—give your guests plenty of alternatives. And never pressure guests to drink alcohol.
- Serve plenty of food. Serve a great meal or have plenty of appetizers on hand.
- Arrange alternate transportation. Pay attention to your guests' alcohol intake and behavior. Call a cab or set up a ride with a sober driver.
- Never serve minors.
Detecting drunk drivers
- Law enforcement officials say there are several signs associated with drunk driving:
- Making wide turns
- Weaving, swerving, drifting, or straddling the center line
- Almost striking an object or vehicle
- Driving on the wrong side of the road
- Driving at a very slow speed
- Stopping without cause
- Braking erratically
- Responding slowly to traffic signals
- Turning abruptly or illegally
- Driving after dark with headlights off
- Keeping these things in mind can could help you prevent a dangerous situation.
- Be careful on the road. Pull over and report drivers you suspect to be under the influence by calling 9-1-1.
Learn more about drinking and driving laws in your state.
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The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm™. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under our policy. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.