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The Office of Traffic Safety and Caltrans encourage you to 'go safely' this holiday season

SAN DIEGO COUNTY – As the holiday season approaches, the Office of Traffic Safety and Caltrans want to make sure drivers are prepared to travel safely. Between holiday shopping, festive outings, and gathering with loved ones, there are several opportunities to "Go Safely" this season.

Even as the days get cooler and shorter, it seems residents' calendars are busier than ever. Attend all those holiday gatherings safely by planning ahead before getting behind the wheel. Drowsy, impaired and distracted driving are deadly – but they are also preventable.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that in 2020, 633 people lost their lives to drowsy driving. Studies have shown that drowsy driving can impair your ability to drive in the same way that drinking and driving does. The best way to prevent drowsy driving is to recognize the signs. Yawning, daydreaming, missing an exit and drifting from a lane are all signs that a driver needs to pull over safely and rest up. Even a quick 30-minute nap can do wonders to refresh a driver before the next leg of their trip. It is important to get enough sleep, take a break every two hours or 100 miles and avoid alcohol or medications that can make them sleepy.

While preparing for celebrations this season, remember to prepare holiday safety plans as well. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a deadly choice, so plan accordingly. Designate a sober driver or schedule a rideshare to get home safe and sound. When hosting a party, don't let friends or family drive impaired. Ensure that all guests have a designated sober driver or alternative, sober transportation to get them safely to their destinations. If a driver suspects that another driver may be driving impaired, call 911. It could save a life.

It can be easy to get caught up in the busy holiday schedules, but make sure to also take the time to limit distractions while driving. Silence that cell phone and concentrate on the road as driving conditions tend to worsen in the winter months. When texting behind the wheel, the amount of time a driver's eyes are off the road averages five seconds. When driving at an approximate speed of 55 mph, a driver could essentially cover the length of a football field, blindfolded. The text can wait until they safely arrive at their destination – silence that phone and focus on the road.

Though it seems people are constantly on the go during the holidays, take some time to remember the home safety plan.

Rest up. Don't drive drowsy and take breaks from driving every two hours or 100 miles.

If celebrations include drinking, designate a sober driver and never let friends or family drive under the influence. If someone sees a drunk driver on the road, call 911.

Limit distractions, silence your phone and focus on getting to and from destinations safely.

Drowsy, impaired and distracted driving are all preventable. Make sure to be prepared so everyone can "Go Safely" this holiday season. For more safety tips, visit http://www.gosafelyca.org.

 

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