Ensure a Safe New Year’s with a Designated Driver

December 30, 2014

Safe-new-years-drinking-driving-Barnes-Jewish-HospitallEveryday, we work hard to make sure you and those you love are taken care of. It’s what we do, and we enjoy it. And we know that emergencies happen, but sometimes emergencies can be avoided, especially those that happen when it comes to drunk driving.

We wanted to share a few words that can be the result of drunk driving – they’re very difficult to say, and even more hard to hear, especially if you’re a family  member or friend:

  • C3-C4 fracture, paralyzed from the neck down
  • Amputation
  • Facial reconstruction
  • Brain damage

Chances are, you don’t want to hear any of these words, on New Year’s Eve or ever.

Our Trauma Center sees many injuries and casualties on a yearly basis that are the direct results of drinking and driving, New Year’s Eve being no exception.

And while we ALWAYS like seeing you out and about at our many events or when you’re here at the hospital to visit a friend or loved one, we really don’t want to see you because you’ve had an accident or caused one because you’ve driven drunk.

According to the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety, 223 people were killed in 2013 and 745 seriously injured in crashes that involved at least one substance-impaired driver. Learn more on the consequences of drinking and driving.

Here is a list of things you can do to prevent becoming another statistic:

  • If you’re going out, make sure there is a designated driver in your group. And if you choose to be the DD this year, hats off to you!
  • Call a friend or family member to come and get you. You can always line up a ride ahead of schedule, so they know they might get a call. That makes you considerate AND smart.
  • Get out your cellphone now and enter in at least one local cab company’s phone number. Take it a step further and add it to your “Favorites” list so it’s easy to access.
  • Or, if you don’t have to go out, all the better. Stay in with your sweetie. Have a few friends over and make up the extra bedrooms for them, or have the sleeping bags ready.

Make a plan now. Stick to it. And we’ll plan on NOT seeing you in the Trauma Center on New Year’s Eve because of drunk driving.

Douglas Schuerer, MD, Washington University acute and critical care surgeon and director of trauma services at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, shares his experience in the emergency department with drunk driving.

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Category: Trauma

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