The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

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Drunk driving increases in Dallas community around holidays
Graphic+by+Carys+Braun+25
Graphic by Carys Braun ’25

Every hour, around two people die in a drunk driving accident, and high schoolers are responsible for around 17 percent of these deaths. In Dallas alone, over 1,000 crashes are attributed to drunk driving every year.

Looking beyond Dallas, drunk driving is a nationwide issue which is exacerbated around the holiday times (from Nov. to Jan.). Around these months, 25 percent of adults admit to drinking more, whether at parties or in their respective homes, which is reflected by the increased rate of crashes.

“People tend to imbibe and utilize more alcohol around the holidays for various reasons,” Health teacher, Adaku Ebeniro said. “Sometimes seasonal depression can be put in the mix or people are missing family members. They also might just simply have more time off work.”

Nearly 40 percent of all vehicular accidents during November, December, and January are attributed to drunk drivers, an increase from the national average of 30 percent. However, these numbers don’t include the number of near-accidents that traumatize many drivers.

“On the day after Thanksgiving, I had an experience with a driver who I believe was drunk,” sophomore Ellie Bell said. “I was driving on the highway very early in the morning, at around 7 a.m., and saw a car swerving across several lanes of traffic, nearly causing half a dozen accidents. I was very scared that the car was going to hit me or another car and create a very dangerous situation.”

Drunk driving is primarily caused by two main types of detrimental drinking habits: binge and coping drinking. Among high schoolers across the United States, illegal binge drinking is more prevalent due to the heightened impact of community influences on those who are underage.

Driving under the influence is a problem that impacts all age groups and communities, including Upper School students at Hockaday. Many have experienced a family member or friend being killed in a drunk driving accident, and it is a trauma that lasts throughout a lifetime.

High school drivers must also be more alert on the road, as they are not as experienced in dealing with drunk drivers as other adults. Staying aware of your surroundings is the best to avoid crashes.

“When I’m driving home on Friday nights, I get a little nervous,” sophomore Anna Claughton said. “I have to be extra aware because there’s always more erratic driving during that time.”

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is implementing “Drive Sober. No Regrets,” a traffic safety campaign, to ensure safe roads for Texans by reminding drivers, especially those under the age of 18, to make wise choices concerning driving.

As part of the campaign, TxDOT is increasing law enforcement presence during December and early January to arrest more drivers under the influence.

“Just remember to be careful this season and we all have choices to make,” Ebeniro said. “We don’t want to put ourselves and especially others in danger.”

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Aadhya Yanamadala, Staff Writer
Jessica Boll, Staff Writer

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