TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) – The Florida Highway Patrol is focusing on preventing impaired driving on the state's highways as part of the Safe Holiday Travel campaign.
FHP will be educating motorists on the dangers of impaired driving and patrolling roadways to ensure everyone arrives safely at their destinations.
From Dec. 23, 2016, to Jan. 2, 2017, 193 drug and/or alcohol-related crashes on Florida roadways resulted in 36 fatalities.
Although alcohol confirmed crashes have decreased 15 percent from 2014, drug confirmed crashes have risen 50 percent from 2014.
"Motorists should always arrange to have a safe ride home so that everyone can make it to their destination safely," said DHSMV Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes.
December is traditionally one of the most dangerous times of the year for impaired driving. Drugs and alcohol reduce all crucial skills necessary to drive safely, including judgment, reaction time, vision and concentration.
Motorists who plan on drinking should always have a designated driver or use a ridesharing service.
Impaired driving includes driving under the influence of over-the-counter or prescription drugs that affect the ability to drive. Be sure to check the labels on medication to see if it will cause drowsiness or the inability to operate a vehicle safely.
Tips to help ensure motorists Arrive Alive this holiday season:
- Drive sober, and only sober. Adults 21 years or older should celebrate responsibly and plan ahead by finding a safe way home every time – designate a driver or call a ride service.
- Observe and obey all speed limits. Speed limits may change through different types of roadways, so be sure to adjust your speed accordingly. In Florida, the limit will never be over 70 mph.
- Buckle up. A seat belt is a vehicle’s most important safety feature. Florida law requires that all drivers, all front seat passengers and all passengers under the age of 18 wear seat belts or the appropriate child restraints. Seat belts save lives, so buckle up every trip, every time.
- Focus on driving. Texting, talking on the phone, eating, adjusting the stereo – are all examples of things that can take attention off the road. Motorists should always have their hands on the wheel, eyes on the road and mind on driving.
The public is encouraged to report impaired drivers by dialing *FHP (*347). For more information, real time traffic conditions and additional travel tips and information, visit: https://www.flhsmv.gov/holidaytravel.
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