duiWhile drunk driving takes place in every season of the year, did you know that one season has more injuries and deaths due to drunk driving than any other? It’s the summer. While everyone is getting outside and having barbecues or going to the beach, many are also loading up their coolers with beer, wine and hard liquor. Many will drink and then get behind the wheels of their cars and trucks before trying to head home.

It’s a confirmed fact that the summer is the worst time of the year for staying safe on our nation’s roads, but the Narconon Freedom Center is trying to do something to help improve that situation. Here are several tips from the Freedom Center to help you stay safe and limit the impact of drunk and drugged drivers this summer. 

Don’t be Part of the Problem 

The first step you can take to lower the risk this summer is to not contribute to the problem. Set a great example and keep your friends and family safe by never driving if you have been drinking alcohol. While many adults could have the idea that they aren’t too drunk to drive, the truth is that many of us aren’t aware of when we have actually crossed the line into inebriation.

Your best bet is to follow the old (and wise) advice of simply having a designated driver. Take turns with your friends and have one person set aside each event as the one that he is going to take responsibility for driving everyone home from. You can encourage your friends to do so by buying their sodas for them all night!

If no one in your group wants to be the driver (or everyone plans on drinking), do the responsible thing and plan for taking a cab or other form of public transportation home. These days there are also lots of “drive sharing” services that make it very easy to call a vehicle to your location within minutes. There really isn’t any excuse for driving after you’ve been drinking.

Help Those Around You 

The second part of keeping your loved ones safe from the actions of drunk drivers is to spread the word. While it may seem awkward to talk your friend out of driving himself home when he is drunk, you have to care enough about your friend to get over it and to do so.

In an age when more and more Americans are also participating in casual drug use, it’s also our responsibility to help our loved ones know that drugged driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving. Young people need to know that smoking marijuana and driving can get them into an accident just as easily as doing shots of tequila can.

In order to be a defensive driver even when you haven’t been drinking, you also have to be aware that many of the drivers on the highway around you could be under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. With millions of Americans taking powerful painkillers or using “medical” marijuana, there is no way to know if all of the people around you are fully in control of themselves.

Keep an eye out for drivers that are going too fast or two slow, or are simply driving erratically. Pull over if you don’t feel safe, and also be willing to report these drivers to the police. It is never over-reacting if there is a very real chance that someone is under the influence and could kill others with his vehicle.