During the holidays, cocktails, eggnog and wine are always flowing, and the danger of serious or deadly car accidents soars.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers these safety tips to help prevent tragedies caused by drinking and driving:
- Choose a designated driver. Before a party, make sure at least one person will stay sober and make sure everyone gets home safely.
- Hand over your keys. Anyone who plans to drink but doesn’t have a designated driver should give someone else their keys so they won’t be tempted to drive.
- Take along an overnight bag. If the party will run late or there will be heavy drinking, be prepared to spend the night.
- Take public transportation. Many cities run extra buses and trains to accommodate holiday crowds. Party-goers can also share a taxi to cut down on costs.
- Don’t walk home. More pedestrians are killed on Jan. 1 than any other day of the year, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Those who do choose to walk should wear bright, visible clothing and stick with a group.
- Buckle up. Whether riding or driving in a car, a seat belt is the best way to avoid injury.
- Remind teens about the risks of drinking and driving. Keep tabs on young people and know who they’re with, where they’re going and when. Parents should coordinate with one another to make sure kids get home from parties safely.
- Take your time to get sober. People only sober up with time — not coffee.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about holiday road safety.