St. Louis Holiday Travel: Stay Safe, Don't Drink and Drive

December 22, 2012
By Ryan R. Cox and Associates, L.L.C. on December 22, 2012 8:32 AM |

Our roadways are going to be packed through the remainder of the holiday season and there is always the chance bad weather will greet the hoard.

According to USA TODAY, more people are choosing to drive instead of fly to their holiday destination this year. And transportation officials expect it to be the busiest holiday in six years.
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Officials with AAA are projecting that more than 93 million Americans are going to travel 50 miles or more over the holiday travel period, which runs from December 22nd through January 1st. That's a more than 1.5 percent increase from last year's travel numbers. Officials are also estimating that about 90 percent of these travelers will drive. They're traveling farther this year, too -- about 760 miles instead of the 726 estimated last year.

Our St. Louis car accident lawyers understand that residents are getting out and taking those holiday vacations that they passed up in recent years for a number of reasons. First off, gas prices are down. Nationwide, a gallon of gas is running about $3.30. In recent years, gas prices were up and the economy was struggling and that forced a lot of residents to stay home for the holidays.

"This year-end holiday season remains the least volatile of all travel holidays as Americans will not let economic conditions or high gas prices dictate if they go home for the holidays or kick off the New Year with a vacation," says the President of AAA, Robert Darbelnet.

What we'd like to focus on during the holiday travel season are the risks for drunk driving car accidents. During this time, these kinds of collisions are much more likely than during any other time of the year. There are a lot of holiday gatherings, a lot of booze and not enough sober drivers.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were more than 310 people killed in alcohol-related traffic accidents in the state of Missouri in 2010.

Officials with the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) remind drivers that impaired driving is one of the country's deadliest crimes. It's also one of the most preventable.

If you're heading out for the holidays and drinking is involved in your plans, be sure that you have a safe and sober way to get home. Designate a sober driver before arriving at the party. This should be someone who pledges to have absolutely no alcohol.

If you wind up without a designated driver, there are other safe ways to get home. You can call a cab or even call a friend or family member to come pick you up.

If you see someone you love attempting to drive after consuming alcohol, grab their keys. Help them to find a sober way to get home.

If all else fails, stay at a friend's house or get a hotel room for the night. There should never be a reason to get behind the wheel after consuming any amount of alcohol.

More Blog Entries:

Super Bowl Festivities Contribute to Spike in Drunk Driving Accidents in St. Louis and Elsewhere, St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer Blog, February 3, 2012