With Thanksgiving arriving, we kick off the vacation season. Family and friends might be touring to vacation festivities or seasonal holidays, faculty college students might be coming dwelling, vacation events are deliberate, after which there’s simply the bustle of vacation buyers.
With extra drivers on the roads throughout this busy time of yr, it’s extra essential than ever for us to apply protected driving habits. Sadly, the vacation season between Thanksgiving and New Yr’s is considered one of most harmful occasions on roadways attributable to a rise in impaired and distracted driving.
In response to the South Dakota Division of Public Security, throughout the 2020-21 vacation season (Thanksgiving by means of New Yr’s), there have been 499 automobile crashes in South Dakota. When on the roads this vacation season, do not forget that seat belts are your greatest protection towards a distracted or impaired driver.
Vacation celebrations, usually occasions involving alcohol, are as widespread as adorning the home and looking for bargains. Many adults have a good time by having fun with a pair drinks, however sadly some select to drive whereas beneath the affect.
Final yr, the Watertown Police Division reported 21 DUI arrests throughout the month of December. In response to the Division of Public Security, in 2020 there have been a complete of 52 alcohol- and drug-related crashes and 22 mobile and distracted driving crashes in Watertown alone.
Conserving everybody protected, particularly our youngsters, is the driving force’s duty. Driving impaired shouldn’t be protected or acceptable, particularly with kids within the automotive. An impaired driver makes the selection to drink and drive, or textual content and drive, or use medication and drive. Nevertheless, kids have little selection of whether or not to trip with an impaired driver when the driving force is a dad or mum or caregiver.
Kids are perceptive and are extra influenced by our actions than our phrases. Whereas our society and media usually sends the message that alcohol is the important thing ingredient for good occasions, assist our youth perceive you could have a great time with out it as nicely. For those who drink, don’t drink an excessive amount of or too usually.
Accountable consuming pointers suggests “one customary drink for ladies and two customary drinks for males a day.” A regular drink equals 12 ounces of beer/seltzer; 5 ounces of wine; 1.5 ounces of liquor. Keep in mind, it’s not sufficient simply to rely your drinks. It’s additionally essential to concentrate to the dimensions and alcohol content material of your drinks.
It’s crucial that drivers perceive the importance of impaired driving and the tragic penalties.
What are some key ideas to holding ourselves and family members protected throughout this vacation season?
By no means drink and drive – plan forward and designate a sober driver earlier than celebrations start.
Don’t serve minors.
Drive inside the posted pace restrict.
At all times put on your seat belt and guarantee all passengers are correctly buckled.
Please have a good time the season responsibly and luxuriate in your family and friends. The Watertown Wholesome Youth coalition together with the Watertown Faculty District and native legislation enforcement companies need everybody to be protected throughout this vacation season.
Kelli Rumpza is prevention specialist on the Human Service Company in Watertown.
This text initially appeared on Watertown Public Opinion: Kelli Rumpza column As holiday season nears, celebrate responsibly