Sadly, U.S. roads are still incredibly dangerous because drivers, despite knowing the consequences, are getting behind the wheel after drinking alcohol. In the U.S., a person is injured or worse in a drunk driving accident every two minutes.
In New York City, a place where many people rely on walking, ride hailing services, and public transport rather than driving their own vehicles, drunk driving remains a serious problem, as well.
In 2013, out of 8,368 reported alcohol-related NYC accidents, 358 were fatal crashes. Impaired driving was actually responsible for as much as 35% of all NYC auto accident fatalities. All across NYC, drivers, passengers, bicyclists, and pedestrians are at risk of losing their lives due to impaired drivers. Something needs to be done.
Here are some NYC strategies being put in place to reduce or prevent drunk driving:
- Drunk driving legislation
- Sobriety checkpoints
- Ignition interlocks
- Multi-component interventions
- Mass media campaign
- School-based instruction programs
Though more legislation, sobriety checkpoints, and organizations spreading awareness certainly helps, it is the individual’s responsibility to never drive after consuming alcohol. Here are some great life-saving alternatives to getting behind the wheel after a few drinks:
- Get a designated driver — You should always have a designated driver before you go out drinking. If you and your friends regularly go out for a few drinks, take turns being the DD that night. That way, you and everyone you’re with will get home safely. If there isn’t someone in your party willing to not drink, consider renting a limo or party bus. Although nearly 50% of limousine services during the week are provided for business and corporate events, you should be able to enlist limo services when you and your friends go out at night.
- Ride a bike — There are roughly one billion bicycles in the world — about twice as many motor vehicles. You still need to be careful while on a bike, obviously, but you’ll be much safer biking on the sidewalk than driving a motor vehicle.
- Sleep it off — No matter where you are, you’ll be able to find a safe place to rest for at least a few hours while you sober up. If you don’t know anyone nearby, simply book a hotel room for the night and rest.
Drunk driving remains an epidemic but people are working tirelessly to fight this problem every day. It’s time to do your part and never get behind the wheel in NYC or anywhere in the world after you’ve been drinking.