The holiday season is almost upon us! For many, it’s their favorite part of the year; a time for fun, family, and plenty of food. The time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is also the busiest time of the year for traveling. Hundreds of thousands will make the trek home to visit parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles, with many of them traveling by car.
In 2014, AAA estimated that around 98.6 million people would travel during the holiday season. A staggering 91% percent of these travelers, 89.5 million, decided to make the journey as a road trip instead of flying.
A popular way to celebrate the holidays, or anything really, is to kick back with a nice cold beer or glass of wine. Unfortunately, every year there are all too many people who drink just a little too much and find themselves too intoxicated to drive safely. What’s worse is that this doesn’t stop people from driving while under the influence. In fact, people are more likely to drink and drive during the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s than they are the rest of the year.
According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), alcohol is responsible for roughly 52% of car accident fatalities seen on Christmas and 57% of those seen on New Year’s. In an attempt to change these statistics, MADD runs the “Tie One On For Safety” campaign each year leading up to the holiday season. The program seeks to educate the public on the dangers of drunk driving and raise awareness in communities throughout the United States.
Tie One On For Safety
Now in its 29th year, the Tie One On For Safety campaign is MADD’s longest running campaign, and it’s also their most visible. The project encourages participants to tie a red MADD ribbon in a visible spot on your vehicle so that those who see it can be reminded of the effects of drunk driving. The name for the project comes from the expression “tie one on”, a slang term that basically translates as “to consume alcohol”. MADD has cleverly taken the “tie one on” colloquialism and altered it to suit the theme of their campaign.
Where you place your red ribbon is up to you; tie it on your rearview mirror, attach it to your antenna, or string it up on your hitch. Just make sure that the ribbon is visible, yet not in a location that could potentially obstruct the driver’s view. MADD’s offers red ribbons, as well as magnets and window decals, at their local offices. Click here to find your closest MADD affiliate. You can also tie one on through Facebook, by sharing a virtual red ribbon button.
While adorning your vehicle with a red ribbon isn’t going to stop a drunk driver, it does offer the opportunity to spark a conversation about the dangers of drunk driving and how we as a country can work towards lessening the amount of injuries and fatalities seen as a result.
Tips for Responsible Consumption
There’s nothing wrong with celebrating the holidays with some festive drinks, just be sure to do so responsibly. There are plenty of ways you can have a great night out while making sure you and the rest if your group is safe. Here are some of the best tips for safe drinking for the upcoming holiday season:
- Always choose a designated driver in advance. This is the single best way to ensure that you’ll get home after drinking, without risking the safety of yourself or others on the road. If you’re out at a party or bar alone, pre-plan a time to leave and have the number of a local cab company programmed into your phone.
- Know your limit. Those who drink semi-regularly usually have a pretty good grasp on how much alcohol they can consume before becoming too drunk. If you don’t drink often, a good rule of thumb is to keep it to a drink an hour. Also, remember that men metabolize alcohol faster than women, and as a result can often drink slightly more before seeing any effects.
- Snack while you drink. Food helps your body to absorb alcohol better. High quality snacks, like meat, cheese, nuts, and other proteins, are especially helpful for the digestion of alcohol.
- Alternate alcoholic drinks with water. Alcohol can dehydrate your body very quickly. Sipping water throughout the night can help you stay hydrated and works to dilute the alcohol your system is processing.
- Never mix alcohol and drugs. This is not limited to illegal drugs. Prescription medications and even over the counter painkillers may have the potential to react negatively with alcohol. Such a reaction could cause a number of problems, from passing out to becoming violently ill.
- Pace yourself. There’s no need to rush, one or two drunks per hour is more than enough for your body to process in that time. Take it slow and enjoy sipping your beverage, instead of taking big gulps.
- Avoid drinking games. While they may be fun, drinking games encourage the rapid consumption of alcohol. One game of beer pong and before you know it, you’ve knocked back 5 beers in the span of an hour, far more than your body is prepared to handle at once.
- Stop drinking if you start to feel sick. If you begin to feel nauseous, lightheaded, or start to vomit, stop drinking immediately. This is your body’s way of telling you it’s had enough! Don’t push it; just grab some water, lay down on your side, and take the rest of the night off drinking.
Drunk Driving Accidents
Even if you take all the precautions needed to consume alcohol safely, you can’t assume others will do the same. You simply never know when or where a drunk driver could appear and you could just be in the wrong place at the wrong time when that happens.
Nobody should suffer catastrophic injuries or loss of life because of someone else’s unwillingness to drink responsibly, but it happens all the time. If you or your family has been impacted by an accident with a drunk driver, the Frickey law Firm is here for you. Our clients can testify that our attorneys are compassionate, knowledgeable, and warmhearted. We can help you get through this tough time. Call us at 303-237-7373 and schedule a free consultation so that we can review your situation and talk about what damages you may be entitled to.