It should come as no surprise that drinking and driving don’t mix. Or that a new study shows an increase in car crashes in the days leading up to Christmas.
In a new analysis from the University of Alabama, Professor David Brown at their Center for Advanced Public Safety found that last year the six-day period that includes Christmas had 18% more crashes than the Thanksgiving period and 27% more than the period around New Year’s Day.
In an article published in USA Today, MADD national President Jan Withers noted the year-end holidays are extremely dangerous where drunken driving is concerned – citing figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showing that 1,091 people were killed in DUI crashes last year from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day.
“Plain and simple – don’t drink and drive. It will kill you and the innocent person you hit. It’s well known that 60-70% of all motor vehicle accidents are drug and alcohol related,” said Dr. Ronald Gross, chief, Trauma and Acute Care Surgery at Baystate Medical Center.
“All of the anguish and sorrow associated with injury and death while driving drunk is 100% preventable by simply not drinking when you go to a holiday party, unless you have a designated driver,” he added.
The newspaper noted that for those who need help, many localities offer free or reduced cab rides, designated drivers or towing services for drivers who’ve had too much to drink.