Stay safe during the lazy days of summer with these tips from Safe Communities

By Anna Edwards Jul 6, 2015

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The lazy days of summer are officially here.  Families are going on vacations, visiting the lake, and enjoying local celebrations.  Between July 4th and Labor Day, there are a number of rodeos, parades and special events scheduled across Wyoming.  In Casper, the Central Wyoming Fair and Rodeo is already underway.

According the U.S. Department of Transportation, the 101 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends are some of the deadliest of the year in terms of fatal car wrecks.  This is due in large part to drinking and driving.

It is possible to enjoy summer activities and imbibe alcoholic beverages safely.  It just takes a little planning.

Here are a few tips to keep you safe all summer long:

Designate a driver – and make sure they stay sober

Finding a designated driver can be hard, especially since they are agreeing to miss out on cocktails and beer.  Because of their hefty responsibility (to get everyone home alive), it’s important to find someone you can trust to stay sober the whole night, not just towards the end.

Use the Drive Sober Wyoming App

The Wyoming Governor’s Council on Impaired Driving developed the Drive Sober Wyoming App, to help people get home safely.  The app includes quick access to a list of friends you can text or call for a ride, plus a list of companies that can provide a safe ride home. Also included are Wyoming laws and penalties for driving under the influence, as well as information about the real cost of a DUI.

This app also makes it easy for you to keep Wyoming roads safer by reporting drunk drivers to law enforcement.

Keep your phone in the back seat

If you are the designated driver, keep your phone in the backseat. It may be tempting to text at a stoplight or post a funny picture of your intoxicated car mates, but looking at your phone keeps your eyes off the road for 5 seconds.  A lot can happen in those 5 seconds, including an avoidable car crash.

Phone a friend . . . or your mom!

If all else fails, call a friend or loved one to pick you up.  While calling your parents or friends to pick you up may be embarrassing and a little inconvenient, but it’s way better than risking your life or the lives of others by driving impaired.

A little planning is all that’s needed to make sure you have a safe and fun summer.

Remember: A single bad decision can drastically change your life.  Drinking and driving just isn’t worth the risk. Buzzed driving is drunk driving.

Anna Edwards

Anna Edwards is the grant coordinator for the Safe Communities program at Wyoming Medical Center. She has more than 10 years of experience in nonprofit program development and management. She is the mother of a very active toddler. When she’s not running after her daughter, Anna spends her time reading, gardening and managing her growing obsession with yarn. Email her at aedwards@wyomingmedicalcenter.org or call (307) 577-7904. 

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