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How does Kentucky fare on drunk driving deaths?

As we head into the last days of 2018 — and one of the biggest drunk driving nights of the year — it's a good time to review some sobering statistics. As it turns out, Kentucky is definitely in the top half of states with the highest rate of impaired driving fatalities.

Fortunately, by coming in at number 13, Kentucky is spared from being in the top 10. But that shouldn't leave anyone complacent about the dangers inherent in drunk or drugged driving.

Some accidents are nearly impossible to avoid. Those caused by dangerous weather conditions and others caused by elements out of a driver's control, such as a semitruck losing its load right ahead of a line of traffic, come to mind for that category. But to a one, impaired driving accidents that injure, maim and claim innocent lives are always completely preventable.

If you are drinking — don't drive. With today's ride-sharing technologies and smartphones, there is no good reason to drive after consuming alcohol. Even in more rural areas of Kentucky where Uber and Lyft services have yet to be established, there are always better options than driving while intoxicated.

This New Year's Eve (and always), plan ahead for your sober ride home. Arrange for a designated driver who won't imbibe — not even a sip. Alternatively, carry the number for a late-night taxi service or prearrange to have a sober friend or relative arrive to take you home from the festivities.

If that is impossible, ask your host to let you sleep on a couch until you sober up or plan to ring in the New Year in your own home where nobody has to reach for the keys.

If you are injured by a drunken driver this New Year's Eve, remember that you can hold them responsible for your damages and injuries by filing a claim with the negligent driver's insurance company.

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