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December is Drunk and Drugged Driving Awareness Month

Driving in December means more chance of being involved in a vehicle accident, and it may be one that is fatal. This increased risk of accidents will also likely result in the need for many individuals to seek the help of a Portland accident lawyer.

It’s December, and the roads are filled with anxious shoppers on the hunt for the next deal, and friends and family making the trek to see others for the holidays. There are more holiday parties and Christmas revelers, which means that there is an increased chance of drivers under the influence on the roads, and there are more distractions, which means that drivers aren’t always focused on what’s on the road in front them.

According to the Oregon State Police, there were 25 auto accidents in Oregon that resulted in the death of an individual involved. Nearly a third of these accidents involved drivers who were under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Two of the fatal accidents actually occurred in the three-day period surrounding Christmas, and both involved impaired drivers. These are scary statistics to consider, especially when for many families, this time of year is supposed to be one of joy, charity, and togetherness. The last thing that anyone wants to deal with at any time, but especially during the holidays, is the loss of a loved one due to the negligence or misconduct of an impaired driver.

Unfortunately, it appears that Oregon is on track to having another record year in terms of December accidents. For example, it was reported that on December 6th, an impaired driver struck an Oregon State Police car near Gold Beach on Highway 101. With accidents like these happening so early in the holiday season, Oregon law enforcement agencies have realized that it’s time to take another approach.

This year, state agencies are taking a much stronger stance on the impaired driving issue in order to ensure that drivers remain safe on the roads and don’t find themselves in need of a Portland injury lawyer. This is why the Oregon Department of Transportation has joined a national campaign that was created in order to reduce the amount of fatalities, injuries, and crashes that may occur during this time of year. Governor Kitzhaber has deemed December the Drunk and Drugged Driving Awareness Month, and is urging Oregon citizens to drive safely, plan ahead, and watch out for others.

Follow these important tips to help you stay safe on the roads this holiday season. Never drive at times when you are overly fatigued, and always make sure that you have had enough sleep when undertaking a long road trip. When you are on the road for long periods of time, be sure to get regular rest and take a refreshment break if you need it. Never drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. When you know you’ll be drinking, make sure to make alternative transportation arrangements such as taking public transportation or having a designated driver. Always use your daytime running lights to help your visibility, and make sure to allow yourself enough space between you and the car in front you.