Four tips for planning a safe ride home
With the holidays almost here, you’re probably busy planning one or more fun nights out with friends. But have you also planned how you’ll get home safely? 65 British Columbians die every year in crashes involving impaired driving, many of which happen during the winter months. So if you haven’t already, stay safe this holiday season by planning how you’ll return home. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
1. Plan ahead
We get it – you’ve got a million things to worry about right now. But please don’t procrastinate your safety. The sooner you have a solid plan for how you’ll get home, the sooner you can start focusing on the fun stuff (like exploring cool drink ideas). Getting your plan ready sooner rather than later can also help save you time and trouble. For example, if you wait until the last minute to find a designated driver, then chances are no one will be available or willing.
Good plans include backups. Ask yourself what you’ll do to return home safe if your designated driver becomes unable to drive safely or your planned rideshare becomes unavailable. Also remember that if you don’t stick to your plan, problems might follow. If a night out carries on longer than expected and you’re taking transit home, make sure to start heading home before the busses and trains stop running.
2. Get a designated driver
Designated drivers stay sober so that they can drive others and themselves home safely. If you’re planning to go home in your car or a friend’s, one of you must be a designated driver and act accordingly. In B.C., people who are caught driving impaired can face penalties including driving suspensions up to 90 days, fines up to $4,060 and jail time. More importantly, getting into a crash could ruin or end lives – including your own. It’s never worth the risk.
Don’t forget to thank your designated driver! If you’re the designated driver for your group, please accept our sincere thanks for helping keep our roads safe, along with this hand-picked designated driver playlist.
3. Take transit or book a taxi or rideshare
Thankfully, we have many great transportation options in B.C. for when you don’t have a car and designated driver. For transit, map out your route before leaving and check if holiday hours are in effect for the days you’re out. For taxis and rideshares, booking ahead is recommended if possible, especially on holidays.
Even if you’re not planning to take transit, a taxi or rideshare, having these ready as backup plans before you leave could save you from having to frantically figure one out in the freezing cold. The peace of mind alone is worth a few minutes of jotting notes and numbers down on your phone!
4. Communicate with your group
Help ensure that everyone gets home safely by talking to each other before the party starts. Maybe one friend can be the designated driver for one day out and then you can do it next time. Working together can make things a lot more convenient, but that’s only if everyone stays on the same page. If all you got from someone was a vague promise to be the designated driver a few weeks ago, then check in the day before to make sure that person is still on board with this plan. If things have changed, then you don’t want to be realizing that after you’ve all had too many drinks to drive.
Not sure how to start the conversation? Send everyone this article!
Have fun and stay safe this holiday season
This December, let’s all help keep the holidays happy by encouraging everyone to drive safe. When people drive after drinking alcohol, they not only risk their own lives, but the lives of others on the road. Even one or two drinks can affect motor skills behind the wheel. If you or someone you know will be drinking alcohol, please plan ahead and #GetHomeSafeBC by calling a taxi or rideshare, arranging a designated driver or taking transit. Learn more about alcohol-impaired driving.