The Charlotte County deputy killed by Cassandra Smith on Tuesday night is a reminder that roads can be dangerous this time of the year.
In the United States, the night before Thanksgiving, also known as Blackout Wednesday, is considered a bigger drinking day than New Year’s Eve or St. Patrick’s Day.
According to Money Geek, Blackout Wednesday is the deadliest day to drive.
The website found there is an average of about 114 car crash deaths per year, and one out of four of those involve a drunk driver.
Javier Ley is the director of services for Hazelden Betty Ford in Naples, he spoke with WINK News about the dangers on the road.
“Thanksgiving and Christmas are times in which many, many individuals want to celebrate, they want to spend time with family, they want to be having a festive experience with the holidays. But when we have to think about how we can accomplish that in a safe way, for everybody that’s involved,” Ley said.
Ley went on to explain, there are a few factors that account for the rise in crashes ranging from family dynamics to grief.
“For example, many of the holidays serve as a moment in which we remember loved ones that are no longer with us that can make it a very difficult a context for many individuals, and they, some of them could find a refuge or a sort of our way out of that through alcohol,” Ley said.
Ley also noted the holidays can be stressful for individuals recovering from addiction.
“For people that are new in recovery, it can be a very stressful time, because there’s a lot of expectations to be balanced,” Ley said.
And for those in the recovery process, Ley gave three helpful tips to avoid issues.
- Be honest with yourself about your comfort level around alcohol.
- Have an exit plan in case you need to leave.
- And have your sober support system ready, in case you need them.
Ley also explained to WINK News, if you or someone you love needs help this holiday season, it’s a great time to reach out to support groups or seek professional help.