Drive Responsibly this St. Patrick’s Day & Avoid Distractions

CHICAGO- If you’re traveling by car to St. Patrick’s Day festivities this year, remember to drive responsibly and avoid two of the biggest hazards on the roads—impaired and distracted driving.

“St. Patrick’s Day can be an especially deadly day on the roads,” said Bob Passmore, PCI’s assistant vice president of personal lines policy. “It’s one of the most popular days for drinking, and being on a weekend we, unfortunately, could see a spike in drunk driving crashes.”

This year, St. Patrick’s Day road risks will be adding to an already alarming trend, because the United States is seeing some of the largest increases in crashes and fatalities on the roads. In fact, the National Safety Council estimated that more than 40,000 people across the country died in motor vehicle crashes for a second consecutive year in 2017.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2016, there were 10,497 people who lost their life in a drunk-driving crash, a 1.7% increase from 2015.

“Each of us can make our roads safer every time we get behind the wheel. As drivers, we need to commit to driving sober, putting down our smartphones, and making an extra effort to stay focused on the road,” said Passmore. “It’s worth reminding ourselves and our loved ones that making good decisions about when and how we drive can save lives on St. Patrick’s Day and any other day.”

PCI’s driving safety tips for St. Patrick’s Day:

  • If you’re drinking, designate a sober driver or arrange for a taxi or ride service.
  • Don’t let others drive drunk.
  • Call 911 if you notice an impaired driver on the road.
  • Stay focused on the road—and off your smartphone—when you’re driving.  
  • Limit other distractions in the car.

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PCI promotes and protects the viability of a competitive private insurance market for the benefit of consumers and insurers. PCI is composed of nearly 1,000 member companies, representing the broadest cross section of insurers of any national trade association. PCI members write more than $183 billion in annual premium, 35 percent of the nation's property casualty insurance. Member companies write 42 percent of the U.S. automobile insurance market, 27 percent of the homeowners market, 32 percent of the commercial property and liability market and 34 percent of the private workers compensation market.

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Quick facts

If you’re drinking, designate a sober driver or arrange for a taxi or ride service.
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Call 911 if you notice an impaired driver on the road.
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Stay focused on the road—and off your smartphone—when you’re driving.
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Quotes

Each of us can make our roads safer every time we get behind the wheel. As drivers, we need to commit to driving sober, putting down our smartphones, and making an extra effort to stay focused on the road.
Bob Passmore, PCI’s assistant vice president of personal lines policy