'Tis the season for celebrating – family dinners, office parties, New Year's Eve and more. For some people, this involves a little rum and eggnog, mulled wine or cranberry martinis.
We want everyone to enjoy a fun and safe holiday season so if you plan on drinking, plan ahead to get home safe. Arrange a designated driver, call a taxi or take public transit.
If all Canadian drinkers were drinking alcohol within the proposed guidelines (approximately two drinks a day max), it’s estimated that alcohol-related deaths would be reduced by approximately 4,600 per year.
There are also the hundreds of patients we see with injuries due to impaired driving. Dr David Evans, Trauma Surgeon at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH), sees these patients and all too often, the devastation caused. “Lives and families are needlessly ruined forever,” Dr. Evans says. “When a car runs through a crosswalk, into a bus stop, or through an intersection and hits one or more people - all of which we’ve seen here at VGH recently - there's devastation all around.”
Impaired driving (alcohol, drugs or medications) and distracted driving (ex. mobile phone use) are risk factors for motor vehicle collisions; which costs the BC healthcare system approximately $8.8 billion per year (BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit. Vancouver)
16-25 year olds account for nearly 30% of impaired drivers in crashes but only 13% of all drivers in BC (ICBC)
71% of all impaired drivers in crashes are male
59% of impaired-related crashes happen on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday (ICBC)
43% of impaired-related crashes happen between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. (ICBC)