Alcohol-related accidents can affect a workplace more than you might think. Not only are you at risk of being involved in an accident with an impaired driver if you drive for a living, but if you choose to drink and drive in your time away from work, you could put your career or future employment opportunities at risk.

Drunk driving accidents can affect everyone professionally or personally. Most people would never consider drinking while on the job, and the same should be considered before getting behind the wheel, but annual statistics reflect otherwise.

A look at the last ten years

For more than a decade, drunk driving accidents have been responsible for about 30% of fatal car accidents. While crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver have significantly reduced since 1985, the number of annual crashes are on the rise.

According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), and with data from the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 50 fatalities every 50 minutes (in 2016) due to a drunk driver.

Since III currently only provides statistics up to 2016, let’s take a look at how drunk driving statistics have changed in the last decade:

2006: 13,491 alcohol-related fatalities

2007: 13,041

2008: 11,711

2009: 10,769

2010: 10,136

2011: 9,865

2012: 10,336

2013: 10,110

2014: 9,943

2015: 10,320

2016: 10,497

As you examine the statistics from the last ten years, you’ll notice that drunk driving fatalities declined substantially, but appear to be on the rise again. It’s difficult to know for sure why the increase in incidents is occurring, but there could be many factors that play a role.

Tips for reducing your risk of becoming a drunk driving statistic

Whether you get behind the wheel after having a few drinks or always drive sober, the risk of being involved in an alcohol-related crash is always present. Want to stay safer while on the job and in your downtime? Consider these tips.

At work

If you drive company vehicles, never get behind the wheel after having any alcohol. Not only are you putting your life (and the lives of others) at risk, but your job could be terminated.

When you’re driving a company vehicle, make sure to brush up on your defensive driving skills and use them every time you drive. If you see a driver, who you may suspect is under the influence of alcohol, keep a safe distance and if you’re able, pull over and call 9-1-1.

Be aware of the most dangerous times to drive and the likelihood of sharing the road with a drunk driver. These times are typically on the weekends and during the late evening or early morning hours; keep in mind that any time has the potential to be dangerous.

Never come to work hungover or even “buzzed.” Regardless of what type of work you do, it could affect your job performance and increase your risk of injury on the job.

In your personal time

Create a backup plan before you go out for drinks, such as designate a sober driver or call a ride service like Lyft.

Always keep in mind that your actions away from the workplace, such as drinking and driving, could affect your career and any future opportunities.

Consider making a personal pledge to staying sober while behind the wheel and encourage everyone from your coworkers to your loved ones to do the same.