Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Major Holidays and Accident Magnets

While holidays are always a cause for fun and celebration, especially if it’s on a weekend—it doesn’t give people the license to do stupid things, like say, drinking and driving.

But given how history has always shown people to be more impulsive and less inhibited on holiday weekends, the California Highway Patrol has prepared for drunk drivers (and other reckless, driving violators) the past Labor Day weekend by holding various checkpoints and showing an increased presence.

The law enforcement efforts have certainly paid off. Statewide statistics show that 10 people were killed on highways between 6 p.m. Friday and 6 a.m. Monday as compared to the 23 fatalities during the same period last year.

The CHP has reported that at least half of those killed were not wearing seatbelts. (Yet another frequently careless or impaired mistake)

In Orange County alone, the CHP has arrested 73 people on suspicion of drunk driving, an increase from 67 arrests made last year. There were 35 DUI suspects arrested in checkpoints in Dana Point and Mission Viejo and Newport Beach police arrested 10 people suspected of drunken driving.

Indeed, major holidays are one of those times where people can just relax and have a blast either with family or friends. But those who go out and drive, should bear in mind that drinking and driving is dangerous. A designated driver should at least be with a group out on a Labor Day weekend.

It would also help if people stay in one place and not go out and drive if alcohol is unavoidable. But if one needs to go out and drive to a destination, the driver should remain sober and maintain a clear head.

Drunk drivers are accident magnets – no matter how skilled they are, if they’re impaired by alcohol, fender-benders and metal crushes are just a couple of miles per hour away.

It is often too late to avoid an accident and with your reflexes impaired, attempts will be futile.

This is why authorities are mindful to keep a tight rein especially during holiday weekends because for some people who choose to drink and drive, can bring about the tragic end for several parties involved.