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Give the gift of a safe ride home - Be a designated driver

A group of friends travelling in a car

If you're like many Americans (or at least the Americans who took this Trip Advisor survey), you're traveling sometime over the next ten days and apparently not playing the song Santa Baby. (Don't understand? Read this article.) You're heading to see family and friends, or maybe attending a fancy soiree to ring in 2015. You may choose to celebrate with a couple beverages. Or you may choose to provide a great gift for your friends and family — a safe ride home with someone who's not consumed any alcohol — by being a designated driver.

The designated driver is an important and necessary role, especially during the holidays. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics, December 23 and January 1 are historically two of the top ten deadliest days on the road. In just the second half of December 2011, 395 people were killed in drunk driving crashes. Overall, an average of 25 people a day die in December because of alcohol-impaired driving.

While alcohol isn't the only factor that can cause crashes, it's what the NHTSA is focusing on for their holiday campaign — "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over." Here's how you can plan to stay safe over the holidays.

If you plan on drinking, know how you're going to get home:

  • Designate a sober driver
  • Use a taxi
  • Have a sober friend or family member on call to pick you up
  • Take public transportation
  • Use a community sober ride program if there's one in your area

If you're a driver:

  • Drive sober!
  • Keep your focus on the road, because distracted driving can be as dangerous as drunk driving
  • Don't drive while sleepy
  • Drive defensively, watch for erratic behaviors of other drivers
  • If you see a drunk driver, don't hesitate to contact your local law enforcement

Remember, don't get behind the wheel after drinking. If you notice someone who is about to drive while intoxicated, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to home safely. We want you to celebrate responsibly because your safety is important to us.

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