The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention reports that every day, in the United States, 29 people die in a car accident involving a drunk driver. Not only does this amount to about one death an hour, but the annual cost of drunk-driving accidents also exceeds over $40 billion.

Not only is drunk driving an expensive problem for the U.S., but it’s also an epidemic that could be prevented. There are no reasons why anyone should be killed or injured in an accident involving a driver who is under the influence of alcohol.

Each year, thousands of innocent lives are lost in accidents. The victim could be your best friend, a neighbor, a community leader, an educator, your loved one, or even you. Here are some ways to avoid becoming another statistic and ways to prevent drunk driving accidents.

Never Drive Drunk

The most obvious solution to the epidemic of drunk driving would be to never drive when drunk. Most people know how dangerous it is, but it doesn’t always stop them from getting behind the wheel.

We all know that alcohol can impair your judgment, and that’s why many people forget to think twice about handing over the keys after drinking. Remember, even if you’re a little bit “buzzed” you should never drive.

Create A Backup Plan

 

Before you head out to the bar or to a party where you’ll be drinking alcohol, always have a backup plan just in case you drink too much. With all of the rideshare options available, there’s no reason why you should drive. Don’t want to spend money on a ride? Designate a driver, just make sure that your DD doesn’t drink any alcohol.

Be A Good Model

You don’t need to be a parent to be a good role model. By deciding not to drink and drive, you are choosing to be a good role model to your friends, family, colleagues, and everyone that you know. While you can’t force someone to driver sober, you can inspire them to do the same.

If you notice that someone is too intoxicated to drive, even if you don’t know them, call a cab or offer them a ride home.

Host Events That Don’t Have Alcohol

Alcohol use is socially acceptable and is even strongly encouraged, which can play a role in the epidemic of drunk driving. As you decide not to be an irresponsible driver, host events that don’t revolve around alcohol consumption.

While it may be a challenge, you might find that it’s more fun to stay up late and wake up without a hangover; your friends might feel the same way, too.

Educate and Inspire

Have you been involved in an accident involving a drunk driver? Did you drive drunk and cause an accident? Have you lost someone you care about in an alcohol-related crash? Even if you don’t have a personal connection to a drunk driving incident, you can play a role in educating others about the dangers of drinking and driving.

Sign a pledge to commit to sober driving, share your experiences, and inspire others to strive to be safer (and sober) while behind the wheel.