March 17 is a day to remember the patron saint of Ireland. It’s also become a day for parties, celebrations and festivities the world over.
As we observe St Patrick’s Day, One More Second is taking the opportunity to issue a safety message: please plan before you party and drive with care.
Sadly, St. Patrick’s Day is associated with an increase in drinking and driving. According to NHTSA, 252 people lost their lives in drunk driving-related crashes during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday period from 2011-2015. More than a fourth of them were killed in drunk driving crashes that occurred in the early morning, post-party hours (midnight to 5:59 a.m.).
If you plan to celebrate this St. Patrick’s Day, follow these tips to stay safe:
- Before celebrating, decide whether you’ll drink or you’ll drive. You can’t do both.
- If you’re planning on driving, commit to staying sober. If you’ve been out drinking and then get behind the wheel, you run the risk of causing a crash or getting arrested.
- If you have been drinking, call a taxi or sober friend or family member or use public transportation. Also, try NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app, which helps users call a taxi or a friend for a ride home and identify their location so they can be picked up.
- Help those around you be responsible, too. Walking while intoxicated can also be deadly, as lack of attention could put you at risk of getting hit by a vehicle. If someone you know is drinking, do not let them get behind the wheel and help them find a sober ride home.
- If you see someone who appears to be driving drunk, call the police. Your actions could help save a life.