This week begins one of the most dangerous times of the year on Indiana roadways.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of people killed in accidents involving impaired drivers increases substantially from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve.
The National President of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), Jan Withers, said she encourages people to enjoy the holiday season, but to be safe about it.
“If I say anything that is so important, it is to plan before you ever leave home,” she said. “If your event includes alcohol, decide how you are going to get home with a designated non-drinking driver.”
According to the Indiana State Police, there were more than 350 alcohol-related crashes that claimed the lives of five people and injured more than 150 others last November in the state.
MADD’s annual Tie One On for Safety Campaign is under way and calls for drivers to display red ribbons on their cars as a visual reminder about planning ahead.
Withers remarked that it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for others who may be impaired.
“As we’re out, we may see someone who appears that they’ve had too much and they try to drive home after drinking,” she said. “So we also have the opportunity to save a life, perhaps their own or someone else’s, by urging those people to go home with a designated non-drinking driver.”
Law enforcement agencies in Indiana will be increasing road patrols during the holiday season, looking for impaired drivers, as well as seat belt violators and those speeding.