You might have noticed that when Thanksgiving and Christmas roll around, everything gets much more hectic. Parents are running around buying gifts, working, and managing the house. Teachers are preparing for grades, exams, and ways to celebrate the holidays in their classrooms. And I’m sure you’re trying to complete your assignments, hang out with friends, and make your own gifts for the family. Life feels a bit more crazy than it usually does, and it can show up on the road too!
If you’re already driving, then you might notice too how the holidays seem to make communities busier. There are more people out and about. There are more drivers and pedestrians to watch out for. Also, holidays mean parties. And there’s a good chance that at some of these parties drinks are going to be served. Because of the busy roads from shopping as well as the danger of drunk drivers, the Centers for Disease Control has put out a list of safety tips for teens to stay safe during the holidays as well as the rest of the year. A few of those tips are listed below:
Plan ahead. If you’re going somewhere to shop and you know it’s going to be busy, take the scenic route. Instead of getting on the highway, for example, take the back roads which might have fewer drivers and a slower speed limit. Planning ahead also means taking time to decide who is going to be your designated driver if you and your friends are headed to a party. Before the celebration begins decide who’s going to stay sober and drive home.
Take the keys. It’s easy to get in the car and head home after a party after you’ve had a couple of drinks. In fact, alcohol is a drug that impairs a person’s judgment. He or she may not be in the right state of mind to decide whether it’s safe, let alone to drive home. If you’re with a friend who is about to get into his or her car, grab the keys and make a plan to pick up the car the next day.
Be a safe host. If you’re the home that everyone is driving to in order to celebrate, then there are many things that you and your parents (assuming they are there!) can do to keep others safe. First, you can make sure to serve non-alcoholic drinks. This will at least give those designated drivers an option while they are enjoying the party. If you’ve got only alcohol to serve it’s going to make it difficult to keep everyone safe. Second, you might remind everyone ahead of time to come prepared with a sober driver. And lastly, when the party is beginning to wind down you can do your best to ensure that everyone leaves with a driver that is safe and sober.
These are suggestions provided by the CDC to help keep teens and their families safe this holiday season. Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and with that there are busy roads and holiday parties. To be safe, check out the suggestions provided above.