Traffic Safety is a serious concern. Here is some information on traffic safety:
What Is Aggressive Driving?
Aggressive driving is defined as a combination of unsafe and unlawful driving actions, which demonstrate a conscious and willful disregard for safety. Aggressive driving includes such offenses as tailgating, unsafe lane changes, speeding, running red lights and stop signs, following too closely, improper passing, and failing to yield the right-of-way. In fact, nearly eight out of 10 motorists say aggressive drivers are a greater danger than terrorists.
Traits of an Aggressive Driver
- Drive too fast, over the posted speed limit.
- Run red lights or stop signs.
- Weave in and out of traffic.
- Change lane frequently and abruptly without the use of signals.
- Tailgate other vehicles.
- Follow too closely.
What Area Drivers Say
- Aggressive driving is the greatest threat people face on the road - even ahead of drunk driving.
- 44% of drivers say other threats including drunk driving, large trucks and congestion, pale in comparison to aggressive driving.
- Most drivers say in the past year they personally have seen aggressive driving so dangerous that it puts others on the road at risk.
- About 55% of the drivers polled say the problem is getting worse. Another 39% say the situation is no better.
The Speed Factor
Typically, aggressive driving involves excessive speeding. Speeding is one of the most common causes associated with crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It is a factor in 31% of all fatal crashes. The manner in which a person operates a vehicle is behavior based. Please contact the Chesapeake Police Department to report such unsafe behavior.
- Section 46.2-868.1: Aggressive driving; penalties.
Important Safety Reminders
All bicyclists should wear properly fitted bicycle helmets every time they ride. A helmet is the single most effective way to prevent head injury resulting from a bicycle crash. Be certain that your helmet meets the uniform safety standard by looking for a label or sticker on the helmet. The helmet will not protect your head if it is not properly fitted. Never ride a bicycle without wearing a helmet, even on short trips.
Bicyclists are considered vehicle operators; they are required to obey the same rules of the road as other vehicle operators, including obeying traffic signs, signals, and lane markings. When cycling in the street, cyclists must ride in the same direction as traffic.
Drivers of motor vehicles need to share the road with bicyclists. Be courteous: allow at least three feet clearance when passing a bicyclist on the road, look for cyclists before opening a car door or pulling out from a parking space, and yield to cyclists at intersections and as directed by signs and signals. Be especially watchful for cyclists when making turns, either left or right.
Bicyclists should increase their visibility to drivers by wearing fluorescent or brightly colored clothing during the day, dawn, and dusk. To be noticed when riding at night, use a front light and a red reflector or flashing rear light, and use retro-reflective tape or markings on equipment or clothing.
Check out the Chesapeake Bicycle/Trails Advisory Committee for more information and to find a bicycle trail near you.
Visit Bicycle Basics for a bicycle registration form. If your bicycle is ever stolen and then found, the police can trace its serial number and return the bicycle to you. A license costs $1 and lasts for as long as you own your bicycle.
Chesapeake City Codes
See Article X: Bicycles, Electric Power-Assisted Bicycles, Electric Personal Assistive Mobility Devices and Motorized Push Scooters on municode.com for the most up-to-date City codes.
- Section 74-341: Bicyclists and riders of electric power-assisted bicycles, electric personal assistive mobility devices and motorized push scooters subject to traffic regulations.
- Section 74-342: Destroying, mutilating or altering serial number; voluntary registration; fee.
- Section 74-343: Use of handlebars; earphones.
- Section 74-344: Riding on right-hand side of road; two or more abreast.
- Section 74-345: Riding on sidewalks.
- Section 74-346: Holding on to moving vehicles and towing persons, vehicles, or conveyances prohibited.
- Section 74-347: Lights and reflectors.
- Section 74-348: Brakes.
- Section 74-349: Exhaust system required for motorized skateboards and scooters.
- Section 74-350: Carrying other persons.
- Section 74-351: Reckless riding.
- Section 74-352: Restrictions on operating motorized skateboards or scooters on streets and highways.
- Section 74-353: Unnecessary noise in operation of motorized skateboards or scooters.
- Section 74-354: Penalty.
- Every year children suffer needless injury. Children ages 4 to 8 who use booster seats are 59% less likely to be injured in a car crash than children who are restrained only by a safety belt, according to a study by Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). According to NHTSA, motor vehicle traffic crashes were the leading cause of death for every age 3 through 33.
- Children ages 4 to 8 are generally too small for adult safety belts (which lay incorrectly on their necks and along their stomachs). These kids need a "boost" to ensure the safety belt will fit securely across their chests, and low and snug across their hips-to help prevent internal injuries, neck, head and spinal injuries, and even ejection and death in the event of a crash.
Children Who Should Use a Booster Seat
- For maximum protection, keep a child in a forward-facing child safety seat with full harness as long as the child fits in this seat. (See the instructions for your child safety seat for best fit.)
- A child who weighs between about 35 and 80 lbs.
- A child who has outgrown a convertible child safety seat
- Usually a child who is about 4 to 8 years old and is at least 35" tall
- A child who cannot sit with his or her back straight against the vehicle seat back cushion or who cannot sit with knees bent over a vehicle's seat edge without slouching
Reasons to Use a Booster Seat
- Generally, a child who is 4 to 8 years old is not big enough for lap and shoulder belts alone.
- A booster seat fills the gap between a convertible child safety seat and the vehicle lap and shoulder belt.
- The booster seat raises the child so the vehicle lap and shoulder belt fits well: the lap belt rests low across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt rests snugly on the shoulder across the chest.
- Properly fitting lap and shoulder belts reduce the potential for belt-induced injury which can occur when a lap belt is a child's only restraint.
- All children ages 12 and under should sit, properly restrained in the back seat whenever possible. It's safer!
- Never use just a lap belt across a child sitting in a belt-positioning booster.
- Never put the shoulder belt behind a child's arm or back because it eliminates the protection for the upper part of the body and increases the risk of severe injury in a crash.
- Never use pillows, books, or towels to boost a child. They can slide around.
- State child passenger safety laws apply to infant, convertible, and booster child safety seats.
Buying a Booster Seat
- All booster seats are required by law to comply with the same standards and guidelines as child safety seats.
- When buying a booster seat make sure that it has a label stating: This child restraint system conforms to all applicable U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
- Never use a booster seat that has been in a crash. The seat may have defects that are not visible.
Virginia State Codes Governing Child Restraint Seats
- § 46.2-1095: Child restraint devices required when transporting certain children; safety belts for passengers less than 18 years old required.
- § 46.2-1100: Use of standard seat belts permitted for certain children.
Types of Booster Seats You Can Use
Two types of high-back belt-positioning booster seats are available. Both types "boost" your child up so the vehicle safety belt fits better.
High-Back Belt-Positioning Booster Seats
- One type provides head and neck support for your child if your vehicle seat back does not have a head rest. It must be used with the vehicle's lap/shoulder belt, never with the lap belt only.
- The other, a combination seat, converts from a forward-facing toddler seat to a booster seat and comes equipped with a harness. This type can be used as a forward-facing toddler seat when your child is age 1 and at least 20 pounds to about age 4 and 40 pounds. When your child outgrows the toddler seat, remove the harness and use the seat as a booster seat with the vehicle's lap/shoulder belt.
No-Back Belt-Positioning Booster Seat
- This type also "boosts" your child up so the vehicle safety belt fits better. This booster seat is used with a lap/shoulder belt. It should only be used in vehicles with built-in head rests.
All booster seats are required by law to comply with the same safety standards as child safety seats. Your booster seat must have a label stating that it meets Federal motor vehicle safety standards.
Click It or Ticket is a high visibility enforcement program designed to raise safety belt usage and save people from death and serious injury on the streets and highways. The program will use educational radio messages recorded personally by chiefs and sheriffs, along with stepped-up enforcement, to send a strong message that safety belts save lives.
The Click It or Ticket campaign is currently used in 18 other states and the District of Columbia. In other Click It or Ticket campaigns, the occupant restraint usage rate increased by more than 10%, meaning that thousands of previously unbuckled drivers and passengers began using safety belts and child safety seats.
The campaign consists of strict enforcement, strong educational messages in the form of ads on most radio stations in the area, and numerous public appearances by officers on behalf of the program.
Virginia's statewide safety belt compliance rate is currently 79.9%. The goal of 2008 Click It or Ticket is to raise the rate to at least 82%.
"Click It or Ticket" Launched to Boost Teen Seat Belt Use and to Save Lives
- Motor vehicle crashes are now the leading cause of death for 15-to-20-year-olds in America.
- According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 7,460 drivers ages 15 to 20 were involved in fatal crashes in 2005. In fact, during 2005, more than one in ten (or 12.6%) of all drivers involved in fatal crashes across the U.S. were drivers between the ages of 15 and 20.
- In those fatal crashes, 3,467 of the young drivers were killed; 2,171 passengers in the vehicles with the young drivers were killed; and 2,555 others were killed.
- In America, 15-to-20-year-olds account for only 8.5% of the population but accounted for 14% of the total number of traffic fatalities.
- Most of the fatalities involving young drivers are the young drivers themselves and their passengers.
- One of the biggest reasons for high teen driver and passenger fatalities is low seat belt use among teens.
- In fact, an alarming 62% of teenage passenger vehicle occupants killed in fatal crashes during 2005 were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.
- Alcohol use among teens is also a factor. In 2005, 23% of the young drivers ages 15 to 20 who were killed in crashes had blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels of.08 or higher at the time of the crash, despite the fact that the minimum drinking age in every state is 21.
- Regular seat belt use is the single most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes.
- Nationally in 2005, 77% of the passenger vehicle occupants who were in a fatal crash and who were buckled up, survived the crash.
- When worn correctly, seat belts have proven to reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants by 45% - and by 60% in pickup trucks, SUVs and mini-vans.
- Yet nearly one in five Americans (19% nationally) still fail to regularly wear their seat belts when driving or riding in a motor vehicle.
Drivers at Night, Young Males, and Pickup Truck Drivers are Those Least Likely to Buckle Up and at Greatest Risk
- According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2005, 15,294 passenger vehicle occupants died in traffic crashes between the hours of 6 p.m. and 5:59 a.m.
- 59% of those killed were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash. That percentage is considerably higher than the 44% of passenger vehicle occupants who were unrestrained and killed during daytime hours.
- Men - especially younger men - are much less likely to buckle up. In 2005, 67% of male drivers and 74% of male passengers between the ages of 18 and 34 in passenger vehicles who were killed in crashes were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the fatal crash.
- According to NHTSA, pickup truck drivers and passengers, particularly among young males, consistently have the lowest seat belt usage rates of all motorists.
- In 2006, the observed seat belt use rate in pickup trucks was only 74% compared to 82% in passenger cars and 84% in vans and SUVs.
- This lack of seat belt use is deadly. In 2005, 68% of pickup truck drivers and 71% of pickup truck passengers who were killed in traffic crashes were not buckled up.
- One of the deadliest outcomes in any vehicle crash occurs when passengers get ejected from the vehicle - with most ejections coming from failure to wear seat belts.
- In fact, 75% of passenger vehicle occupants who were totally ejected from their vehicle in 2005 were killed. But only one in 100 drivers and passengers in fatal crashes who were wearing their seat belts were totally ejected.
- Motorists can increase the odds of survival in a rollover crash in a light truck by nearly 80% by wearing their seat belt.
- Section 46.2-1077: Motor vehicles not to be equipped with television within view of driver; viewing motion pictures or similar displays while driving.
- Section 46.2-1077.01: Display of certain visual material in motor vehicles prohibited; penalty.
- Section 46.2-1078: Unlawful to operate motor vehicle, bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, or moped while using earphones.
In 2006, an estimated 17,602 people died in alcohol-related traffic crashes in the United States-an average of one every 30 minutes. These deaths constitute 41% of the 42,642 total traffic fatalities. Of these, an estimated 13,470 involved a driver with an illegal BAC (.08 or greater).
What can I do to help prevent drunk driving?
Two of the most important things you can do are never drive after drinking and never ride with someone who has been drinking. Volunteer to be a designated driver, call a taxi for yourself or someone else who has had too much to drink or stay the night where you are. There are plenty of ways to get home safely but drinking and driving is not one of them.
How can I be a responsible party host?
Some of the ways that you can be a responsible host include:
- Make sure each group of guests has a designated driver.
- Collect car keys from arriving guests and never give keys to someone who is intoxicated.
- Have a responsible bartender.
- Serve food before serving drinks.
- Offer alcohol-free drinks.
- Stop serving alcohol well before the party ends.
- Call a taxi for guests who have had too much to drink or, if possible, offer for them to stay the night.
What does "drink in moderation" mean?
If you choose to drink, here is what the experts suggest:
- No more than one drink an hour.
- No more than two drinks per day for men, one per day for women.
- No drinking alcohol more than four days per week.
Is it true that alcohol-related crashes happen primarily during the winter holidays?
While there may be an increase in intoxicated drivers and related crashes around the holidays, alcohol-related crashes happen every day. From January 1, 2007 to October 31, 2007, 185 alcohol related crashes occurred within the city of Chesapeake. During this same time period, there were 532 impaired drivers arrested in the city.
Who causes the greatest number of drinking and driving crashes?
Generally, the young driver is more involved than other drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Administration, 21-34 year old impaired drivers are involved in approximately 50% of all alcohol-related fatal crashes.
How extensive is the problem of drinking and driving?
There are approximately 1.5 million arrests each year for DUI, nationally. While this may seem like a lot, there are many more drivers who, if picked up by the police, would be arrested for DUI. Even if a driver has a blood alcohol concentration lower than the legal limit (0.08% in Virginia) they should still not get behind the wheel of a car since even one drink can impair your ability to be a safe driver.
Is it true that most drinking and driving incidents are caused by repeat offenders?
No. Of the 1.5 million drivers arrested for driving under the influence in 1997, two-thirds (1 million) were considered first-time offenders.
Is it really the drinking that causes the fatal crash?
This can be difficult to isolate as the sole cause. It's pretty clear that drinking plays a significant part in many fatal crashes. However, 42% of intoxicated drivers involved in fatal crashes were also speeding. It's unclear whether they would have been speeding if they had not been drinking, or whether speeding and drinking and driving - both risk-taking behaviors - were part of their general lifestyle pattern.
How about drugs and driving?
A person does not have to be drinking to be arrested for driving under the influence. Drivers can be arrested for DUI with a blood alcohol concentration of 0% if there is proof that the impairment is due to drug use. Driving after using drugs appears to be more common among young drivers (13% for those 16 to 20 years old) than older drivers (5% for those 21 and older).
Why is the term "impaired driving" often used, rather than "drunk driving"?
"Drunk driving" typically refers to driving with a blood alcohol concentration which is at a level where a person can be arrested for DUI (in Virginia, this is 0.08). Impaired driving means that a person's skills - including judgment, coordination, response time, and more - are affected much earlier before the BAC reaches 0.08%. It also refers to the fact that other drugs, including certain prescription drugs, over the counter medications, and illicit drugs, can affect driving skill. Each of these has important lessons for safety.
By 2030, more than 70 million Americans will be 65 or older. At least 90% of them will be licensed to drive.
People over 65 are the fastest-growing population in the United States. Though seniors are more likely to wear safety belts and less likely to drink and drive or speed, they're more likely to be hurt in a car crash.
What can mature drivers do to reduce their risk of injury from motor vehicle crashes?
- Wear your seatbelt every time on every ride and make sure everyone else in the vehicle is buckled up.
- Be aware of medication side effects and interactions with alcohol consumption.
- Plan trips during low traffic times.
- Left turns are more dangerous, so plan your travel route to include more right turns.
- Take a driver improvement class to maintain driving skills and learn the newest highway laws and vehicle changes.
- Move into an intersection only after checking the area for pedestrians, cyclists, hazards and other motor vehicles. Don't allow other drivers to pressure you into sudden moves.
- Limit conversation and keep the radio volume low to minimize distraction.
- Don't drive when you're tired, depressed or in the grips of a strong emotion, such as anger.
- Never drink and drive. Metabolism changes with age, and even one drink can make driving unsafe at any speed. In addition, avoid driving until you are aware of any medication's that may impair your driving.
- Ensure your windshield is clean and visibility is clear. If you smoke, refrain form lighting up inside the vehicle.
How Do I Know if My Driving Skills Are Declining?
There are a number of warning signs you can look for. Are you:
- Running stop signs or red lights before realizing it?
- Stopping for green lights or when there is no indication that you need to stop?
- Having near misses with vehicles, pedestrians, or objects?
- Merging into another lane without looking?
- Going the wrong way against traffic?
- Getting lost in familiar areas?
- Stopping in the middle of intersections?
- Confusing the gas and the brake pedals?
If you are concerned about your driving skills, consult with your physician about a driving evaluation.
The most common factors in crashes involving mature drivers are:
- Failure to yield right-of-way.
- Improper left turns.
- Confusion in heavy traffic.
- Complications while backing up.
- Failure to maintain proper speed.
- Hesitation in responding to new traffic signs, signals or pavement markings.
How Old Is Too Old to Drive?
You can be a safe or unsafe driver at any age. In general, young, inexperienced drivers tend to have the worst driving records, and experienced middle-age drivers tend to have the best ones. However, as early as 60, but more frequently after the age of 75, driving skills tend to decline. This decline is especially true of mature drivers who take certain medications or have conditions associated with the aging process such as vision problems, arthritis, diabetes, strokes, Parkinson's disease, or Alzheimer's disease.
Mature drivers may investigate the following transportation alternatives in their community in advance of actually needing to use them:
- Carpooling with family and friends
- Taxi cabs
- Shuttle buses or vans
- Public buses, trains, and subways
What Are Virginia's Senior Licensing Laws?
The length of the cycle to be issued a Virginia driver's license is five years without accelerated renewal. A vision test is required for those drivers 80 and older.
What Is the Medical Advisory Board of the Department of Motor Vehicles?
The Medical Advisory Board has the authority to review an individual's ability to drive safely. Based on its assessment, the board can restrict, revoke or take no action regarding the individual's driver's license.
The AARP Driver Safety Program is an 8-hour classroom refresher that can help you learn the effects of aging on driving and how you can adjust your driving. Most classes are taught in two, four-hour sessions spanning two days, and the course cost $10.
Motorcycling is a fun, exciting way to travel and experience the beauty of Virginia; however, riding a motorcycle is serious business and requires extra concentration and additional training. Virginia's motorcycle requirements are designed to ensure the safety of motorcyclists as well as others traveling on the road.
If you operate a motorcycle in Virginia, you must hold a valid Class M designation or a motorcycle driver's license.
Wear the Proper Riding Gear
Despite the best prevention efforts, motorcycle crashes do occur. In a crash, the most important factor for reducing injury to a motorcyclist is personal protection. The proper riding gear-a helmet, eye protection, leather jackets and trousers, durable gloves, and proper footwear-can provide this personal protection.
A helmet is the most important safety equipment a motorcyclist wears. Helmets are about 29% effective in preventing motorcycle deaths and about 67% effective in preventing brain injuries. An unhelmeted rider is 40% more likely to suffer a fatal head injury than is a helmeted rider. In Virginia, motorcyclists and their passengers must wear an approved motorcycle helmet that meets or exceeds the standards and specifications of the Snell Memorial Foundation, the American National Standards Institute, Inc., or the federal Department of Transportation.
Since many motorcycles don't have windshields, riders must protect their eyes against insects, dirt, rocks, or other airborne matter. Even the wind can cause the eyes to tear and blur vision, and good vision is imperative when riding. Motorcycle operators should choose good quality goggles, glasses with plastic or safety lenses, or a helmet equipped with a face shield. Goggles, glasses, and face shields should be scratch free, shatterproof, and well-ventilated to prevent fog buildup. Only clear shields should be used at night since tinted shields reduce contrasts and make it more difficult to see. Even if the motorcycle has a windshield, eye protection is recommended.
Jackets and Trousers
Clothing worn when riding a motorcycle should provide some measure of protection from abrasion in the event of a crash. The clothing should be of durable material (for example, special synthetic material or leather). Jackets should have long sleeves. Trousers (not shorts) should not be baggy or flared at the bottom to prevent entanglement with the chain, kick starter, foot-pegs, or other protrusions on the sides of a motorcycle.
Note: Upper body clothing should be brightly colored. Some motorcyclists wear lightweight reflective orange or yellow vests over their jackets. Use of retro-reflective material on clothing, the helmet, and the motorcycle helps make the motorcyclist visible to other motorists, especially at night. Many vehicle/motorcycle crashes occur because the driver of the other vehicle failed to see the motorcyclist in time to avoid the crash.
Durable, non-slip gloves are recommended to permit a firm grip on the controls. Leather gloves are excellent, as are special fabric gloves with leather palms and grip strips on the fingers. Gauntlet-type gloves keep air out of a motorcyclist's sleeves.
Proper footwear affords protection for the feet, ankles, and lower parts of the legs. Leather boots are best. Durable athletic shoes that cover the ankles are a good second choice. Sandals, sneakers, and similar footwear should not be used since they provide little protection from abrasions or a crushing impact. Motorcyclists should avoid dangling laces that can get in their way.
General Safety Information
Motorcycle crashes contribute significantly to the large number of injuries and fatalities on the roadways. Within the city of Chesapeake in 2007, there were 22 traffic fatalities. Of that number, 6 or 27% were operating motorcycles. Within the country in recent years,
- Alcohol involvement in fatal crashes among motorcycle operators as a long term trend has shown a slow but steady improvement. However still over 1/3 of operators were alcohol - positive in fatal crashes with a BAC greater than 0.08
- Among all motorcycle operator groups, 40 to 49 year old age group had the highest percentage of alcohol involvement.
- Alcohol involvement among motorcycle operators in single vehicle crashes was almost twice the involvement than multiple vehicle crashes.
- Motorcycle operators riding on 1,001 to 1,500 cc engines had the highest alcohol involvement in fatal crashes.
- Three fourth of operators involved in fatal crashes between midnight and 0300 were alcohol - positive.
- Motorcycle operators not wearing a helmet or who were improperly licensed or speeding at the time of a fatal crash were more likely to be alcohol - positive than other operators.
Did you know:
- A pedestrian is defined as any person not in or upon a motor vehicle or other vehicle.
- In 2006, 4,784 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in the United States.
- On average, a pedestrian is killed in a traffic crash every 110 minutes and injured in a traffic crash every 9 minutes.
- There were 61,000 pedestrians injured in traffic crashes in 2006. Most pedestrian fatalities in 2006 occurred in urban areas (74%), at non-intersection locations (79%), in normal weather conditions (90%), and at night (69%).
Safe Walking Behaviors
Safe walking behaviors can be taught as a parent walks with a child or it may be included as an organized training. Regardless of how it is taught, children should know the following:
- Stop at the curb and check to see if the cars are running or if anyone is in the driver seat.
- If safe, cross to the edge of the parked cars, and look left, right and left again before crossing.
- Stop at the curb and look left, right and left again for traffic.
- Wait until no traffic is coming and begin crossing. Keep looking for traffic until you have finished crossing.
- Obey traffic signs and signals.
- Remember that just because it is your turn to cross does not mean that it is safe to cross. Do not trust that cars will obey the rules or that turning cars will see you.
- Look for yourself to see if cars are coming. Look left, right and left and then behind you and in front of you for turning cars.
- Walk, don't run across the street.
- Use sidewalks or paths.
- If there are no sidewalks or paths, walk as far from the cars as possible and walk facing traffic.
- Watch for cars turning or pulling out of driveways.
Friends don't let friends drive drunk! This St. Patrick's Day, don't depend on dumb luck. Designate a sober driver before the party begins.
For many Americans, St. Patrick's Day has become a popular night out to celebrate with friends and family. Unfortunately, due to the large volume of impaired drivers, the night out has also become very dangerous. Last year on St. Patrick's Day, nearly half (44%) of the 105 drivers and motorcyclists involved in the fatal crashes had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of.08 or above. That's why the Chesapeake Police Department announced their joint efforts with federal, state and local highway safety and law enforcement officials across the nation to remind all those who plan on celebrating during the St. Patrick's Day festivities to drink responsibly. Whether you are meeting a few friends at the local pub after work or attending a party, if you plan on using alcohol, never drive while impaired - and never let your friends drive if you think they are impaired.
Drunk Driving Prevention
Following these easy steps, a driver can enjoy a safe St. Patrick's Day without jeopardizing their life and the lives of the others who may be on the road.
- Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin;
- Before drinking, please designate a sober driver and give that person your keys;
- If you're impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation so you are sure to get home safely;
- If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don't hesitate to contact your local law enforcement;
- And remember, if you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.
Impaired driving is one of America's deadliest problems. In 2006, 42,642 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes. Out of that number 13,470 people were killed in traffic crashes that involved at least one driver or motorcyclist with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of.08 or higher. Driving impaired or riding with someone who is impaired is simply not worth the risk. Not only do you risk killing yourself or someone else, but the trauma and financial costs of a crash or an arrest for driving while impaired can be really significant.