Ah, the office holiday party. It’s the most wonderful time of the year – getting to watch an eggnog-fueled Janice from Accounting serenade the boss with “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” (and subsequently getting to watch a shamed Janice from Accounting packing up her desk the following Monday). Thankfully, most of us remember to keep our wits about us during the busy holiday social season – we know not to have one too many drinks when we’re out celebrating.
What many of us don’t know, however, is just exactly how many drinks equal “one too many”. This can be devastating when we get behind the wheel. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration is making a big push this December to educate drivers on the dangers of “buzzed driving” – that is, getting behind the wheel after you’ve had just a drink or two. A number of additional factors during winter make driving more dangerous – the weather chief among them. Add to that the fatigue that naturally sets in after you’ve been out late at a holiday party or dinner with friends or family, and then mix in a drink or two (no, the fact that it’s mixed with eggnog does NOT dilute those two shots of rum) and the risk of crashing even after drinking a small amount of alcohol increases dramatically.
To help keep alcohol-related crashes down over the holidays, the NHTSA has a number of excellent resources. Here’s one, an eye-opening infographic that lays out the case against driving while buzzed:
In addition, the NHTSA is asking drivers to sign a pledge to not drive while buzzed. They’ve collected close to 20,000 signatures thus far (and we’re hoping you’ll add your name to the list). Last year, the NHTSA released the SaferRide app, which gives users an impressively quick and easy way to contact a taxi or a friend to have them come and pick you up – it quickly pulls up a map with your current location so that they’ll be able to get to you, even if you’re not quite sure where you are (as often happens on New Year’s Eve). The app is available for iPhone as well as Android devices.
Using good sense this December will help keep you and others safe on the roads. Buzzed driving is drunk driving, after all; you don’t want to end up like this guy (or worse).