Getting Around Safely

By Sponsored Content

I’m going on a vacation with some friends this summer, and–for the most part–I’m looking forward to it. However, I must admit that I also have some concerns about the trip. My friends are a lot of fun, but they don’t always make the best decisions. We’re a hard-partying bunch, and while we’re pretty careful, I’m worried that the vacation atmosphere could hurt our decision-making.


The main issue I’m considering is that our vacation is going to be in a place where we won’t be walking to most places (which is what we do here on campus). An older friend will be renting a car. I want to make sure that we don’t have anyone driving that shouldn’t be. I’m thinking about trying to convince everyone to rent bicycles, or something–I need to find a solution here, I think, and I need to bring it up in a way that will make everyone listen to me. Experts, can you help me?


Safety on the road is, of course, incredibly important. That’s no secret, and most people seem to grasp that fact. Pros at a car dealership tell us that safety features are one of the aspects of vehicles that potential buyers ask about most, and we know that nearly 90% of us buckle our seat belts when we hop in a car. Yet, many of us seem not to make the obvious connection between intoxicated driving and danger. More than one million drivers were arrested for driving drunk in 2016, despite widespread efforts by educators, the government, nonprofits, and others to keep people from making that mistake. While those efforts made a remarkable impact, there’s no denying that even one drunk driver is one too many–much less one million!.


Those one million drivers arrested got off easy. Statistics show that, if left on the road, those drivers would be apt to being involved in a car accident. That could cost them in financial terms, thanks to damage to the cars, increases in insurance rates, medical costs for injuries, and, according to lawyers for personal injury claims, legal costs for personal injury suits, settlements, and awards resulting from injuries to other parties. Even more important is the incredible emotional moral cost that could come with an accident that results in death or injury to another party. There’s also the most obvious: the drunk driver could end up killing him- or herself, too.


It’s a no-brainer: don’t drive drunk. Yet, we see American drivers making this mistake over and over again. Why? Reasons vary, but there are some common ones that your upcoming vacation shows dangerous signs of encouraging. While many drunk drivers are serial offenders who may have serious problems with alcoholism, others are the sorts of people you’d never expect to get behind the wheel while under the influence. Perhaps they just underestimated their sobriety after a night at a restaurant or bar. Maybe they’re not accustomed to having to drive to their nightlife hot spots. Perhaps they’re on vacation, and figure that just one time won’t hurt. Maybe they’re pushing their limits more than usual because they have the next day off from work. As serious a mistake as drunk driving is, it’s an easy one to make, which is why we must all stay vigilant. We applaud your attention to the issue and your concerns about your upcoming vacation. It’s very possible that your focus here could save lives.


You seem to understand that you and your friends must not drive drunk. However, you need a plan to ensure that this doesn’t happen. Let’s examine some options.


The most obvious method for avoiding drunk driving is the tried-and-true one: use a designated driver. In a large group on a multi-day trip, it shouldn’t be too much to ask each person to take a day off from drinking to ensure that everyone else gets home safe.


Of course, details with the rental car may make that tough. Adding drivers to your rental agreement could become pricey, and there might be age issues with laws and rental agency policies. So, let’s examine some alternatives.


Perhaps the best option for a vacation is a taxi ride, suggest the pros at a limousine service in Armonk, NY. With friends with whom to share your cab ride, prices should be very affordable. If you can afford to go on vacation, you can afford to do so safely! Ride-sharing apps make getting a quick ride a breeze, but we recommend that you also write down the number of a taxi service, car service, or limousine service. This ensures that you can get a ride, even if you don’t have internet service or if the battery dies on your smartphone. Bars and restaurants often help with landing you a taxi, too, as will hotel concierges and other service-industry pros.


Your bicycle idea is well-intentioned, but perhaps it’s not the best move. We do recommend that you rent bicycles to explore your vacation destination, but we can’t endorse your idea of using bicycles as an alternative to drunk driving. Bicycling is a blast, but it should be done sober, explain bike rental experts. In fact, it is illegal in many states to drive a bicycle while intoxicated. Laws vary from state to state: in some cases, the same DUI or DWI laws that apply to cars also apply to bikes! Other states have laws that differentiate between various vehicles. Regardless of its legal status, though, riding a bicycle while intoxicated is a bad idea. You could fall and hurt yourself, and–if driving on the road–could end up in a vehicular accident just like you could in a car!


So, you should still rent bicycles, but you should be sober when you ride. In fact, perhaps it’s time to consider a bit more sobriety, in general. Your instincts for avoiding drunk driving are admirable, but your letter also suggests that, when cars are not involved, you and your friends are happy to binge drink. Binge drinking is incredibly dangerous, even if you stay off the road. You should consider cutting back. We think you’ll find that your vacation–as well as your daily life–affords you plenty of opportunities to enjoy yourself without doing so much damage to your health and your future.


“If you don’t think it’s safe, it probably isn’t.” –