Clearfield, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Highway Safety Network (HSN) gathered at the Lock Haven University Clearfield Campus today to urge everyone to designate a sober driver for their holiday travels. As part of their Operation Safe Holiday messaging, they also reminded everyone that buckling up is their best defense against injury if involved in a crash.
"The holidays are a time for us to gather with family and friends to express our gratitude for those relationships," said District 2 Executive Tom Prestash. "While there is never a good time for tragedy to strike, it's especially heartbreaking for it to occur during this time of year. That's why we're stressing to everyone the importance of wearing seat belts and driving sober."
At the event, PennDOT and HSN invited the student body to operate the impaired driving simulator and complete activities while wearing Drunk Busters alcohol and drug impairment simulation goggles. PennDOT and HSN also distributed literature on the legal and social consequences of DUI.
HSN Community Traffic Safety Project Coordinator Josh Woods offered responsible party hosting tips for those planning to host a party and those planning to attend a party.
- If you're the designated driver, take the job seriously. Enjoy the food but not the booze.
- If you're hosting the party, ask guests to pace themselves, enjoy the food, and drink plenty of water.
- Help your designated drivers out by serving some non-alcoholic drinks.
- If you know someone has been drinking and they try to leave, take their keys, and help them get home safely or offer to let them spend the night.
According to 2022 PennDOT data, there were 14,342 crashes between November 23 and January 2, 2023. There were 124 fatalities and 7,268 injuries in those crashes. Of those totals, 1,111 crashes were alcohol-related, resulting in 41 fatalities and 661 injuries, while 387 crashes were drug-related, resulting in 44 of the fatalities and 287 of the injuries.
Additionally, according to 2022 PennDOT data, there were 11,955 unrestrained crashes in Pennsylvania during the calendar year. There were 354 fatalities in these crashes and 903 injuries.
For more information on the dangers and consequences of impaired driving or on the benefits of wearing seat belts, visit www.PennDOT.pa.gov/Safety
For regional traffic updates, follow www.twitter.com/511PAStateCOLL.
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