Celebrate by Being Safe on the Highway
During the month of July, summer is in full swing and there are many opportunities for fun times. Whether it’s attending Fourth of July celebrations, backyard barbecues, or picnics in the park, there is no shortage of things to do. Unfortunately, the month of July can be a dangerous time to travel as well. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more people die in drunk-driving related crashes during July than in any other month. A person’s safety and freedom can be compromised if the decision to drink and drive is made. When a person has been drinking, they may believe that they’re okay to drive, but even the smallest amount of alcohol can alter someone’s ability to safely operate a vehicle. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of just .02% or about two alcoholic drinks, can cause some loss of judgement, relaxation, and an altered mood. These effects can lead to impaired driving due to a decline in visual functions and the ability to perform two tasks at the same time (CDC). A BAC at the legal limit of .08% can cause poor muscle coordination (i.e., balance, vision, and reaction time), loss of small-muscle control (i.e., ability to focus eyes), and the impairment of judgement, self-control, and reasoning (CDC).
To combat the issue of impaired driving and other risks associated with high-risk drinking, Student Health Promotion has been participating in the Georgia Young Adult Program (GYAP) of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS). The GOHS Young Adult Program addresses young adult driver crashes, injuries and fatalities and partners with colleges and universities throughout the state to implement the GYAP. Through the use of innovative strategies and techniques, this program has proven to be successful at reducing young adult crashes, injuries and fatalities in their communities.
Here are a few tips to stay safe during July celebrations:
- Before drinking, choose a non-drinking designated driver.
- If hosting a party, make sure all guests leave with a sober driver.
- If a drunk driver is seen on the road, call law enforcement immediately.
- Always wear a seat belt, as it’s the best defense against drunk drivers.
- If drinking, do NOT get behind the wheel.
- Like drunk driving, drugged driving is impaired driving – which means it is dangerous and illegal in all 50 States
Follow @BeWellGSU on social media and #GamePlanGSU to learn strategies to be safe if alcohol or other drugs are part of July plans.