One of the worst problems in our society that still doesn’t get enough attention is that of impaired driving. Aside from the many legal problems you can get into as a result of driving while drunk or impaired, it’s a stupid thing to do that puts yourself and others, including people you don’t even know, in serious danger. Not drinking altogether is obviously a failsafe way to avoid driving while impaired, but short of that, here are a few more ways you can prevent impaired driving and all the dangers that go along with it.
Have A Designated Driver
This is an obvious solution, yet many people still struggle to follow it. The key is to plan out who the designated driver is going to be ahead of time so that person knows going in they won’t be drinking that night. This will eliminate any confusion or finger pointing at the end of the night. The best thing to do is come up with a schedule you and your friends can follow whenever you’re drinking. This ensures everyone knows who the designated driver will be and that everyone is doing their fair share when it comes to keeping everyone safe from impaired driving.
Bring Money For A Cab
You can tell yourself ahead of time that you’re not going to drink too much, but we all know it’s easy for those plans to go awry. Just to be safe, always remember to bring extra money with you so you can pay for a cab to take you home. If you end up not needing it that’s fine, but always make sure you’re covered by having money for a cab just in case.
Stop Drinking Long Before Driving
One of the last things you ever want to do is finish off the last couple sips of a drink and immediately get behind the wheel of a car. Instead, give yourself at least an hour or two between the time you stop drinking and the time you think about driving home. This will help give your body a chance to process the alcohol you’ve consumed and start to recover. It’s also best to drink some water and eat some food during that time so that you’re all set to drive when you do decide to head home.
For most people, your body can process about one drink per hour. Any more than that and you’re putting yourself in danger of being impaired, even if you give yourself extra time before driving home. Thus, the best thing you can do when drinking is to pace yourself. Too many people think that if they drink a lot while the night is young and then slow things down they’ll be fine when it’s time to drive home. This simply isn’t true. Most of the time, if you’ve averaged more than a drink per hour, you’re risking being an impaired driver, so don’t be afraid to nurse your drinks a little and take your time.
Eat A Lot
When you’re drinking, food is your friend. Drinking on an empty stomach is the best way to become impaired, so make sure you’ve had plenty to eat, particularly before you start drinking. If you’ve had a full meal before you start drinking, you’ll feel less inclined to drink a lot, and what you do drink will be absorbed better. If you plan on drinking, that’s actually the best time to break your diet and pig out a little; it’s a good way to avoid driving while impaired later on.
There you have it. 5 ways to avoid an impaired driving situation. Remember though, the best way to avoid impaired driving is not to have a drink in the first place.