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How to stay safe on the roads during the most dangerous driving season of the year

Driving a Car
Posted at 7:12 AM, Dec 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-22 12:02:17-05

INDIANAPOLIS — We are currently in the most dangerous driving season of the year.

According to the National Road Safety Foundation, there is a spike in crashes during the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.

The higher risk comes from multiple factors, including impaired driving, driving while under the influence of drugs and alcohol and driving while drowsy.

In 2019, more than 10,000 people were killed as a result of alcohol-impaired driving, 837 of them happening in the month of December.

Christmas and New Year’s Eve saw the most drunk driving fatalities than any other holiday.

Michelle Anderson, director of operations for the National Road Safety Foundation, said 813 people died in car crashes in Indiana last year, an increase of 8% from 2019.

That’s why she encourages everyone to have a plan, a designated driver, even if you just have one or two drinks.

“You may not feel intoxicated, but you're driving has been impaired, your decision-making has been impaired. The other thing that we ask is that you have an alternate plan and that may look like calling an Uber or Lyft ride,” Anderson said.

The financial impact of impaired driving crashes is enormous.

If you’re caught drinking and driving, you can lose your license and even face jail time.

A DUI can cost more than $10,000 in fines, attorney fees and higher insurance rates.

On top of the financial cost, there’s the emotional impact of needlessly causing a death or serious injury to others.

The National Road Safety foundation urges drivers to also be alert of the signs of drowsiness while driving.

Some of those are difficulty focusing, frequent blinking, rubbing eyes, daydreaming, head snaps, nodding off and drifting out of your lane

IndyGo will offer free rides on Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

Oftentimes, ride-sharing app, such as as like Uber and Lyft, will offer free or discounted rates on holidays to make sure everyone makes it home safely.