MDOT urges safety for New Year's - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

MDOT urges safety for New Year's

JACKSON, MS (WDAM) -

This is a news release from MDOT

The year is winding down, and the time of New Year's resolutions and college football bowl games, family and friends is quickly approaching.  This New Year's, motorists across the state will hit the roads, eager to spend time with loved ones, celebrate the end of the year and welcome a new one.  It's one of the busiest travel times of the year, and unfortunately, that means more crashes.  No matter if you're traveling across town or across the country, the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) urges all drivers to remember that being safe can be as easy as planning ahead and not drinking and driving.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), each year in the US, more than 10,000 people die on our roadways due to impaired driving, which is the equivalent of about 20 jumbo jets crashes each year. In 2012, impaired driving fatalities represented 31 percent of all traffic fatalities in Mississippi.  In addition, 684 Mississippi drivers were involved in fatal impaired driving accidents in 2012, and 406 drivers in Mississippi were killed in drunk driving-related car crashes.

“We want everyone to have fun while celebrating the New Year with family and friends,” said MDOT Executive Director Melinda McGrath. “The risks are not worth it, and the consequences of driving after drinking are serious. Making a plan before you celebrate is an easy, but effective, way to celebrate responsibly.”

Remember, there's never an excuse for getting behind the wheel if you're under the influence.  If you decide to drink, the best thing to do is to have a plan in place before going out: designate a sober driver, call a friend or family member or utilize your community's public transportation or taxi system.

MDOT offers these additional tips for safe driving this New Year's:

·         Buckle up.  It provides your best defense against injury or death in a crash. Facts don't lie: seat belts save lives.

·         Don't drive distracted; concentrate on the road and your surroundings. 

·         Slow down and be mindful of construction work zones and animals darting across the roadways.

·         Be aware of other drivers; don't assume that everyone else is driving as safely as you.

Surviving your New Year's drive this year—and making it to the next year—can be as simple as being responsible and making good decisions.  The most important thing is to drive safely this New Year's, enjoy your holiday with family and friends and remember: “Don't Drink and Drive, and You'll Stay Alive.”

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