Spring break driving tips

It's that time of year again when millions of people head off on a vacation over spring break. College students, families and others may all be heading out for a road trip to warm weather or to visit friends and family. Driving to a destination is one of the most popular transportation methods for spring break trips. With all the warm-air revelry happening, it's easy to see why spring break could be one of the most dangerous times on the road.

Drunk and impaired driving causes thousands of accidents every year, and they can have much more serious consequences than rising car insurance rates. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 10,000 people are killed from drunk driving every year. Fortunately, it is entirely possible to avoid drunk driving during spring break. While you can't control the actions of others, you can ensure that you are safer on the road by following these driving safety tips for spring break:

  • Plan ahead: If you're going out for a night on the town with friends, make a plan for how you will get there and back.

  • Avoid alcohol: If you know you are going to be driving, don't drink. Drinking and driving is dangerous and illegal and greatly increases your risk of getting in an accident and being seriously injured.

  • If you drink, don't drive: If you find yourself drinking at a party or just as part of your vacation, don't get behind the wheel. Even a small amount of alcohol can impair your driving.

  • Leave your car: At major spring break destinations, there is likely easily accessible public transportation. Instead of driving, leave your car and hop on the bus or subway to get where you need to go. Leaving your car behind will ensure you don't drive while intoxicated.

  • Don't let a friend drive under the influence: If you notice that your friend has had a few drinks and starts walking over to their vehicle, you should step in and prevent them from getting on the road. Even if they insist they only had a few drinks and are fine, you should assume that everyone who has been drinking is unfit to be driving. Offer to help your friend find another way home to prevent them from driving while intoxicated and putting themselves in danger.

  • Get picked up: When you go out, ask a friend or relative if they would be able to pick you up later if they aren't attending the same event as you.

  • Host the party: If you really want to eliminate the temptation of taking your car when you go out and risk the possibility of drinking and driving, consider being the host of the party. That way, you can have your friends come to you - just make sure no one is driving home after drinking.

  • Stay the night: Another good option is to stay near at a hotel or friend's house near the event where you will be drinking. Compared to a DUI or a serious accident, arranging to stay somewhere else is a good way to stay safe.

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