---- — If you hit the highway for a getaway or get-together in the next couple of weeks, you’ll have company.
Troopers assigned to the Indiana State Police Peru Post will increase patrols in Cass, Fulton, Grant, Miami, Howard, Tipton and Wabash counties in an effort to remove drunken motorists from area roads.
Throughout all of 2011, 140 people were killed on Hoosier highways involving an impaired driver, the Indiana State Police report. Nationally, 32,367 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2011, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration — and 9,878 were killed in crashes involving a drunken motorist.
That means every 53 minutes, someone in America died in a crash involving an impaired driver, the NHTSA says.
There were 91 accidents in Howard County involving an intoxicated motorist in 2010, but fortunately no fatalities.
Since 2006, however, about 1 in every 5 fatal crashes on Indiana roads involved an impaired driver.
Troopers remind motorists to “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”
Don’t get behind the wheel if you’ve consumed alcohol. Call a taxi, a family member or friend who’s sober for a ride home.
If you’re hosting a party, always offer non-alcoholic drinks. Make sure all guests leave with a sober driver, or ask them to spend the night.
And before heading out on the road, remember to ensure your tires are properly inflated, and that your lights operate correctly. Also allow for extra time to your destination, and keep a little extra space between you and the vehicle in front of you.
And if you notice someone driving erratically, state troopers ask that you contact police. Be prepared to give a description of the vehicle, its location and direction of travel.
Don’t be a statistic. Drive safely this week and next.