Drunken driving killed nearly 9,967 people in the United States in 2014, reported the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This accounted for nearly 31 percent of all traffic-related deaths in the country that year. Unfortunately, added CDC, nearly 19 percent of all traffic-related deaths were among children aged 0 to 14 years, due to alcohol-impaired driving. Further, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that traffic fatalities increased 7.2 percent in 2015 as compared to the previous year, the highest percentage increase in 50 years.
Driving under the influence (DUI) is emerging as the new threat in the U.S. With more and more teens and students developing alcohol addiction, a proportional rise has been noticed in deaths due to drunken driving.
Apart from this, according to studies, most of the traffic accidents involve office commuters. Although, very few accidents involving DUI are recorded in the peak hours, however, it is believed that educating office goers about the hazards of DUI will greatly reduce incidents of road rage due to alcohol-impaired driving. In order to highlight the importance of safe driving, the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS), sponsors the Drive Safely Work Week every October. This year NETS celebrates the 20th anniversary of this initiative with the theme “Drowsy, Distracted or Focused––Your Decisions Drive Your Safety.” During the week, the organization encourages employers to help their employees by participating in the week that promotes safe driving education and awareness for drivers and commuters alike.
Ways to promote sober driving among employees
The safety of the employees is important for any company. According to the NETS, vehicle-related accidents account for 1.6 million lost work days per year in the U.S. Apart from raising awareness about benefits of sober driving, companies can adopt various policies to curb accidents such as:
- Introducing sober driving policy
Introducing a concrete sober driving policy will help in emphasizing a company’s commitment towards sober driving. The policy should state clearly the benefits of sober driving for the employee and his family. It should also mention the penalties that can be imposed in case of failure in adhering to the policy.
- Publicize calendar highlighting safety events
Creating a 12-month calendar to organize safety events throughout the year can help in reminding the employees about the importance of proper driving. Organizing events at crucial times of the year, such as just before the holidays when alcohol consumption may go up, can bear more fruits.
- Offering Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)
There can be many employees in a company who abuse alcohol. Developing EAPs where such employees are given support to get rid of their addiction, will not only create an addiction-free workplace but will also result in higher employee productivity.
Effects of alcohol while driving
Alcohol tends to react with brain cells and affect the ability to think, usually slowing it down. As a result, a person may take longer to respond when under the influence of alcohol. Due to this, they tend to react late in case of an emergency such as the need to apply sudden brakes, thereby causing an accident. Studies have revealed that every drink can reduce the thinking capability by 20 percent and increase the risk of meeting with an accident by two folds. Besides this alcohol also affects the vision thereby increasing the risk of accidents.
Road to recovery
Drinking and driving is not only hazardous but also a crime. A person caught for DUI can be sentenced to jail. Alcoholism is not a culture but an addiction and needs to be treated under proper medical care and guidance.
If you or your loved one is trying to overcome alcohol addiction, the Alcohol Addiction Helpline of California can help you connect to various alcohol treatment centers in California. You may call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-980-1715 or chat online for more information regarding alcohol rehab centers in California. Our representatives will help you get in touch with one of the reputed alcohol addiction treatment facilities in California.Continue reading