OVER the past five years, 10 people were killed and 36 were seriously injured in impaired driving related crashes in B.C. between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day, says ICBC.
That’s why police will continue to be out in full force at CounterAttack roadchecks across the province during the holidays.
While attitudes towards drinking and driving have changed considerably over the years, an average of 95 lives are still lost each year and impaired driving remains a leading cause of car crash fatalities in B.C. Alcohol impacts a person’s judgment, reaction time, coordination and visual functions. Behind the wheel that means it affects a driver’s ability to steer, track moving objects and control speed and lane position. No amount of coffee, food or fresh air can sober up an impaired person – the only cure is time.
So tis the season for some good cheer but make sure you plan ahead for a safe ride home if your festivities involve alcohol.
Here are ICBC’s tips to help everyone get home safe this holiday season:
* It’s all in the details. You’ve planned out who you’ll go to the party with, how you’ll get there and what you’ll wear, but have you also planned how you and your friends will safely get home? Choose a designated driver before going out or keep money aside for a bus or taxi. Operation Red Nose is also available in 13 communities to help get you and your car home.
* Is it your turn? Share the responsibility to help your friends and family get home safely – ask yourself if it’s your turn to be the designated driver.
* Take a stand. Never get in a car with an impaired driver. Ask to get out of the car if necessary. Take a stand and don’t let your loved ones get behind the wheel impaired.
* Be a good host. If you’re hosting a party, reward your designated drivers with some fun and easy-to-make mocktail treats , like a smooth Kootenay Koffee or a tingling Lemon Fizz.
* Every year during the Christmas holidays (6 p.m. December 24 to midnight December 26) an average of 240 people are injured in 810 crashes in the Lower Mainland.
* Every year during New Year’s Eve (6 p.m. December 31 to midnight January 1), an average of 120 people are injured in 420 crashes in the Lower Mainland.