The Toll of Holiday Driving

Holiday driving may cost 860 Americans their lives this season, according to the National Safety Council. We’ve already seen too many accidents this year – and the season’s not over yet.

As many as 438 fatalities and 49,900 injuries may occur during the New Year’s holiday weekend.

With preventable deaths at an all-time high, the Council has called for states to take actions to reduce their residents’ risks – particularly when it comes to safety on the roads.

The NSC State of Safety report encourages states to implement proven countermeasures to help reduce risk, including instituting sobriety checkpoints, requiring ignition interlocks for first-time and repeat DUI offenders, banning open containers, or automatically revoking licenses for more than 90 days for drivers with blood-alcohol levels above .08 or those who refuse to test.

The Council also applauded Utah’s decision to move to a .05 legal limit, which takes effect Dec. 30.

Additional tips for safe travel include:

Designate a sober driver or arrange alternate transportation; impairment begins with the first drink

Understand how opioid pain relievers may affect your ability to drive safely. Visit StopEverydayKillers.org to learn more.

Buckle up on every trip and in every seating position. Seat belts could likely save 335 lives over the two upcoming holiday periods.

Make sure children are properly restrained in safety seats appropriate for their height and weight

Avoid distracted driving, even hands-free

Get plenty of sleep and take regular breaks to avoid fatigue

Sign a New Driver Deal with teen drivers at DriveitHOME.org

Learn about your vehicle’s safety systems and how to use them at MyCarDoesWhat.org

Check your vehicle for recalls at ChecktoProtect.org

Find out more at www.nsc.org.

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