Dec. is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

Published 7:00 am Friday, December 4, 2015

This week, President Barack Obama issued a proclamation declaring December as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month.
“No person should suffer the tragedy of losing someone as a result of drunk, drugged or distracted driving,” the proclamation states, “but for far too long the danger of impaired driving has robbed people of the comfort of knowing that when they or a loved one leaves home they will return safely. Impaired driving puts drivers, passengers and pedestrians at risk, and each year it claims the lives of thousands of Americans.”
According to a release from the Mississippi Department of Transportation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that each year in the United States, more than 10,000 people die on the roadways due to impaired driving. In December of 2013, 733 people died due to crashes involving a drunk driver.
In 2012, 684 Mississippi drivers were involved in fatal impaired driving accidents, the release states.
In the release, MDOT states that drunk driving is not the only thing that impairs driving. Other factors contributing to a motorist’s impaired driving skills, judgment or reaction time include, illegal drugs, prescription medications, cell phones, texting and other passengers in the vehicle.
According to the release, MDOT stresses that safety should be a top concern and offers the following recommendations:
–– Don’t drive while distracted. A text, call or email can wait.
–– If drivers must text or make a phone call, MDOT suggest they pull off the roadway into a well-lit area.
–– Always wear seatbelts when riding in a motor vehicle.
–– Be aware of surroundings and other drivers.
–– Drive the recommended speed limit and be aware of construction work zones and animals running into roadways.
–– People planning to consume alcohol should assign a designated driver.
“Surviving a night and living to see the next day can be as simple as being responsible and planning properly,” the MDOT release states. “There is never an excuse for getting behind the wheel when under the influence.”
For more information and up-to-date traffic updates on Mississippi’s highways and interstates, visit, download the smartphone application or dial 511.

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