Drunk driving spikes during the holiday season, which is why December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month.  -  Photo via pexels.com/ energepic.com

Drunk driving spikes during the holiday season, which is why December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month.

Photo via pexels.com/energepic.com

A new national survey by SafeAuto finds that 40% of Americans ages 21 to 34 say they are more likely to drive after consuming alcohol over the holidays than at other times of the year, reports KMMO.com.

Fleet drivers need to be particularly cautious while behind the wheel for the next month, as the winter holiday season ranks among the most dangerous times of the year on the roadways.  Some 837 people died in traffic collisions involving a drunk driver in December 2019 alone, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Moreover, during the Christmas and New Year’s Day holiday periods in 2019 alone, there were more drunk-driving-related fatalities — 210 — than any other holiday period that year. Tragically, 140 of those fatalities occurred on Christmas Day.

The SafeAuto survey indicates that impaired driving is a continual hazard, as KMMO.com reports. For example, six in 10 respondents ages 21+ say they worry they have been a passenger in a vehicle when they have known the driver has had too much to drink, while 40% ages 21 to 34 say they’ve regretted driving after having consumed too much alcohol.

December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. Fleet drivers should plan to use their defensive driving skills and be on the lookout for impaired drivers. Sudden speeding up or slowing down, tailgating and driving with headlights off at night are all potential signs that someone may be driving drunk.

Remind your drivers to be vigilant. If they encounter a drunk driver, they should move away from that vehicle and if possible, pull over, and report the incident to police.

Every day, about 28 people in the United States are killed in drunk driving crashes — that’s one person every 52 minutes and a total of 10,142 lost lives in 2019, according to NHTSA.

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