Importance of Designated Drivers — and How to Be a Good One

designated driver

Designated drivers have saved an estimated 50,000 lives and prevented countless thousands more injuries. Because of designated drivers, fatalities from drunk driving began steadily falling in the 1980s, with a 24 percent decline in a four-year period after the importance of designated drivers began to be emphasized.

Designated drivers save lives.

If you’re going to be the designated driver on your next outing, here are some tips to keep your night safe and fun.

  1. Have a plan.

Make sure you know beforehand which people you are driving home. If you are responsible for a large group, you may need two designated drivers. Establish a set meeting place for the end of the night to avoid having to track down all your friends who have been drinking alcohol.

  1. Set some ground rules.

Setting ground rules about respecting you and your property can make your night go much more smoothly. You may want to set rules about the loudness of music played in the car, the number of food stops made during the drive home, and a set time to head home. One non-negotiable rule should always be that seat belts are worn in your vehicle. Always.

  1. No alcohol!

Not even one drink. Designated driving isn’t about who drinks the least. It’s about staying sober all night. It can be difficult to keep your promise of sobriety when you’re surrounded by people who are drinking and enjoying a party. But remember that even one drink can impair your own driving and that one drink can easily lead to more.

  1. Keep the non-alcoholic drinks flowing.

Some bars offer free soda for designated drivers. If you want something a bit more exciting, you can also try out some new mocktails, like a Spiky Hedgehog, an Applesinth, or a classic Shirley Temple. Or, you can always order virgin versions of your favorite drinks.

  1. Discuss compensation.

When you’re the designated driver, you’re doing your friends a favor. It’s reasonable to ask your friends to chip in for gas or to even buy you dinner or non-alcoholic drinks.

  1. Have a cab number on your phone.

If you give in to temptation and have a drink, call a cab instead of driving home. Or, if someone in your group is being uncooperative, you can just send him or her home in a cab.

  1. Take turns.

If you tend to go out with the same group of people, develop a system to choose a different designated driver for each outing, unless you don’t mind being the designated driver each time.

There are Still Too Many Drunk Driving Victims

Unfortunately, no matter how careful you are, other people will still drive drunk. If you or a loved one becomes the victim of a drunk driving accident, the Law Office of F. Craig Wilkerson, Jr. can help. We conduct a thorough investigation that can include reviewing police reports, photographing the accident scene, interviewing witnesses, and anything else needed to build evidence for a jury trial.

Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation. Contact us online. Or call us at:

  • 803-324-7200 (Rock Hill attorneys)
  • 803-289-7202 (Lancaster attorneys)
  • 803-396-5200 (Fort Mill attorneys)