As families, friends, and workplaces prepare to gather for holiday celebrations, President Barack Obama has officially declared December to be National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. The goal of this presidential proclamation is to raise awareness of the dangers of driving while impaired by alcohol, drugs, and distractions such as cell phone use. It is the President’s hope that the nation will embrace the month of December as a yearly opportunity to re-commit itself to promoting safe driving practices.
“Every year, accidents involving drunk, drugged, or distracted driving claim thousands of lives, leaving families to face the heartbreak of losing a loved one,” said President Obama. “We stand with all those who have known the tragic consequences of drugged or drunk driving, and we rededicate ourselves to preventing it this December and throughout the year.”
The President urged parents and caregivers to talk to their children and set clear expectations about safe driving. He encouraged educators, healthcare workers, and community leaders to inform people about the risks of drugs and alcohol, and the importance of good decision-making.
Employers, too, can help to prevent impaired driving. Many workers operate vehicles during the work day, so promoting safe driving on the job is an important part of the national effort to reduce fatal accidents. To keep our roads safer, employers can:
• Provide clear policies prohibiting the use of alcohol or drugs at work.
• Develop company-wide Safe Driving Programs with procedures to keep employees safe on the road.
• Provide ongoing training on safe driving practices.
• Offer incentives to employees who maintain clean, crash-free driving records.
• Conduct random workplace drug tests and breath alcohol screening and recommend counseling services and/or provide information for employees with drug or alcohol problems.
• Encourage workers to plan ahead and arrange a sober ride home from holiday parties.
Observing National Impaired Driving Prevention Month in December will allow workplaces to review Safe Driving Programs and refresh safety attitudes and initiatives for the coming year. By endorsing safe vehicle operation at work, employers can help support the national goal of reducing fatalities caused by drunk, drugged, and distracted driving.