FLORIDA (WKRG) — The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and the Florida Highway Patrol are working to keep all Florida drivers on the “nice list” this holiday season.

According to the FLHSMV, in Dec. 2021, there were 35,859 crashes on Florida roadways that took the lives of 325 people and injured 1,524.

“Tragic crashes are unfortunately all too common, and often caused by someone who chose to not follow the law,” FLHSMV Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes said. “We see the heartbreak these crashes cause to families, friends, and communities; but seldom do we hear of the many crashes that are prevented by motorists who are courteous, sober, and focused on the road and their surroundings. These are the drivers that keep us safe and the type of driver all motorists should aspire to be this holiday season and into the new year.”

In Dec. 2021, there were 971 alcohol-confirmed crashes, 96 drug-confirmed crashes and 86 drug-and-alcohol-confirmed crashes, for a total of 1,099 crashes involving alcohol, drugs or a combination of both in Florida.

“Please remember to drink responsibly and make good decisions this holiday season,” Colonel Gene Spaulding, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol said. “Not only your life but the lives of others are in jeopardy if you decide to drink or use drugs and drive. FHP troopers will be aggressively enforcing impaired driving laws to ensure the safety of the citizens and visitors of Florida.”

Under Florida law, DUI is an offense, proved by impairment of normal faculties by any substance or unlawful blood alcohol or breath alcohol level of .08 or above. If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact local law enforcement or dial *FHP (*347.)

To help ensure the safety of the roads, FHP said they will be out in force on the highways to aid motorists and remove dangerous drivers from the road. FHP Auxiliary Troopers said they will also volunteer to augment FHP during the holiday period.

Trip tips:

  • Make sure all passengers are buckled up at all times. Children should be in the proper child restraint seats at all times, more information can be found at flhsmv.gov/childsafety.  
  • Be aware of changing speed limits. The limit in Florida will never be higher than 70 mph.  
  • Put it down and focus on driving. Keep your hands on the wheel, eyes on the road and mind on driving. Let your co-pilot help you navigate or change the music.
  • Don’t drive drowsy. Take a break every 100 miles or two hours. Use the buddy system and switch drivers.
  • Move over for stopped emergency and service vehicles – it’s the law!  
  • Write down important phone numbers and keep them in your car in case your cell phone battery dies, and you don’t have a way to charge it.  
  • If you need to pull over:
    • Stop in a safe place, out of the roadway and away from traffic.  
    • Turn on your emergency flashers. If you have emergency roadway flares in your trunk, position them conspicuously.  
    • If a motorist stops to render assistance, it’s better to remain in the car and ask them to get help. Likewise, if you see a stranded motorist, it’s better not to stop. Notify law enforcement by calling *FHP (*347).  
  • If you are involved in a minor crash, stay in the vehicle and call law enforcement to report the crash.