Some car accidents are unavoidable, no matter how careful you are. It’s just one of the risks of getting out on the road. However, there is a whole category of car accidents that are completely avoidable, no matter the circumstances. DUI-related deaths account for one-third of all fatalities on the road. That’s nearly 10,000 people each year who would still be alive if alcohol or drugs were never a factor in their accidents.

Here are 5 strategies for ensuring you don’t become part of that statistic:

  1. Plan ahead. If you know you’re going to be drinking, appoint a designated driver for the group, or if you’re alone, Uber or Lyft to and from the place where you plan to be.
  2. Give up your keys early. The ability to make sound judgments is one of the first cognitive abilities you lose when inebriated. Take away the temptation to get behind the wheel by giving someone who’s not drinking your keys before you start drinking.
  3. Take advantage of free rides. Many cities or businesses will offer free cab rides on holidays such as New Years or St. Patrick’s Day. Put the numbers for these cab companies in your wallet so you’ll be ready to call when you need them.
  4. Don’t ride with someone who has been drinking. This sounds obvious—because it is!
  5. Take public transportation. We have a number of public transportation options in Austin. Take the MetroBus, MetroRail, or the MetroRapid to get home. These methods may take you a little bit longer, but at least you’ll arrive home safely.