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Three Crucial Tips for More Effective Drunk and Drugged
Driving Prevention Campaigns

The holiday season is approaching, bringing with it snow, egg nog, and young, impaired drivers. December is designated as national Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month. Impaired driving is a major cause of auto accidents in the United Sates with young adults being at a higher risk for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. According to the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, approximately 30 million people age sixteen or older drove under the influence of alcohol in the previous year while 10 million drove under the influence of illicit drugs. Among drivers with BAC levels of 0.08% or higher involved in fatal crashes in 2015, nearly three in 10 were between 21 and 24 years of age (28%).

Elements of Effective Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Campaigns

What makes an awareness campaign successful? More than just stirring up emotion, your campaign must convey the real impact of driving while under the influence. Ensure the effectiveness of your drunk and drugged driving prevention campaign by including the following three essential features.

Highlight the Effects of Alcohol and Drugs on Driving Ability

It’s important to communicate how alcohol and drugs negatively impact our ability to drive. Alcohol and drugs greatly alter the following aspects of a driver’s capacity:

  • Judgement - Driving while impaired makes it difficult to foresee possible collisions down the road.
  • Reaction time - The influence of drugs or alcohol slows your reaction time so that you can’t respond quickly to changes in your situation, such as a car swerving into your lane or a pedestrian suddenly crossing the street.
  • Vision - Alcohol and drugs can negatively affect your ability to see, including slowing eye muscle function, blurring vision, limiting peripheral vision, and decreasing night vision.
  • Concentration - With an increase in drowsiness, drugs and alcohol dramatically reduce your attention span and ability to focus.
  • Coordination - Motor skills such as hand, eye, and foot coordination suffer when you drive impaired, making it difficult to walk, get in your car, or put the key in the ignition.

Consider using educational materials about the effects of alcohol on the body or including hands-on activities about the impact that drugs have on the body when planning awareness events or display tables.

Spread Awareness with Reminders

Make awareness for drunk and drugged driving prevention stand out with giveaways. Whether it’s a piece of apparel to wear in solidarity with the cause, like an awareness T-shirt, awareness earbuds, or awareness coasters, or a simple wallet card or keytag to keep handy when out with friends or colleagues, a little reminder can go a long way in preventing impaired driving.

Share Tips for Celebrating the Holidays Safety

Keep the conversation positive with ideas for how to safely enjoy the holiday season. Pass out educational keytags for how to party smart. Drunk and drugged driving prevention starts with these simple actions:

  • Chose a designated driver for your group in advance
  • Pick a limit for the number of drinks you’ll have at a party and stick with it
  • Make sure to drink water, other non-alcoholic beverages, and eat food when drinking alcohol
  • Don’t mix alcohol with other drugs like over-the-counter prescriptions or medications
  • Take an Uber, Lyft, taxi or public transportation if you’ve had too many drinks
  • Don’t let someone who’s been drinking get behind the wheel
  • Don’t ride in a car with a driver who’s impaired
  • Always wear your seatbelt, as it’s the best protection against impaired drivers

This holiday season is the perfect time to ramp up your drunk and drugged driving prevention awareness campaign. With the right information, tips, and materials, you’ll be ready to get the word out about safe driving. Empower the people your campaign reaches to make good choices and act responsibly when celebrating this season with PSA’s awareness solutions, materials, and giveaway items.

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