Impaired driving a factor in many car accidents

In the United States, almost 30 people die every day in car accidents caused by drunk drivers. This is the equivalent of a fatality every 51 minutes. Alcohol-related collisions have an annual cost of more than $59 billion.

Drunk driving is of particular concern during the holidays. Nearly half of all highway deaths on Jan. 1 involve alcohol. Thanksgiving and Christmas also have high rates of traffic fatalities, with alcohol a major factor.

Safety experts say that there are several effective measures that can be taken to prevent deaths and injuries from car accidents caused by impaired driving. Experts say that it is essential that existing 0.08 percent blood alcohol content (BAC) laws be strictly enforced, as well as minimum legal drinking age laws and state zero tolerance laws for drivers under the age of 21. In addition, law enforcement officials conduct additional operations to enforce drunk driving laws during the holidays.

Drivers can protect themselves in several ways. First, ensure that you are not driving impaired, by planning ahead for a designated driver. Also, be aware of times when drunk drivers may be on the road, including late at night and on holidays, and take extra precautions. Make sure your holidays are happy and safe.