Celebrating responsibly this holiday season

To keep holiday drunk driving accidents to a minimum this year, Safety Daily Advisor has reminded workers that December is National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month.

December may be a good time to give workers a brief reminder of the dangers of driving after drinking at holiday parties and other events. According to the National Institute on Alcohol and Alcohol Abuse, the "skills and coordination needed for driving are compromised long before the obvious signs of intoxication are visible," marking the importance of discussing the appropriate amount of drinks.

Discussing alcohol use in general may be beneficial for employees, and can help with informed decision making. Debunking common myths about "sobering up," including the idea that a strong cup of coffee will sober up a motorist to an acceptable blood-alcohol level for driving can also be a good discussion point.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 10,228 people were killed in drunk driving accidents in 2010. Drunk driving also endangers highway workers and commercial truck drivers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that transportation incidents accounted for about two-fifths of all workplace deaths in 2010.

To lower the risk of injury, flaggers and other workers in the right-of-way must always wear high visibility vests and other safety products required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). All vehicles should be equipped with safety equipment and first aid kits in the event of an accident and, as a driver, stay alert, concentrate, and drive defensively. Being aware of other drivers and their actions, and responding appropriately can get you safely home for the holidays.   

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