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Airmen against impaired driving

Airmen simulate the wingman concept, Dec. 9, 2014, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 30 people in the U.S. die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jim Araos/Released)

Airmen simulate the wingman concept, Dec. 9, 2014, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 30 people in the U.S. die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jim Araos/Released)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- President Barack Obama proclaimed his support of National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, and dedicated the month of December to driving safely and responsibly on Nov. 9.

With nearly one-third of deaths of Americans resulting from motor vehicle crashes, the 30th Space Wing safety encourages Airmen to lead the charge in saving lives from motor vehicle accidents.

"People don't want to hear another safety briefing," said Master Sgt. Kenneth Hauck, 30th Space Wing noncommissioned officer in charge of ground safety office. "Everyone knows you're not allowed to drink under the influence, but people will still go out and do it."

Hauck emphasizes the importance of personal risk management to ensure that safety is held as the top priority.

"There are two questions you should always ask yourself when considering to drink and drive," said Hauck. "Could I do it and should I do it? When you reach the second question, it should stop you from life-altering actions."

In the new age of technology, substance abuse is not the only hazard that poses a threat to lives on the road.

"As mobile technology becomes ubiquitous, the distractions of texting and cell phone use continue to pose grave dangers on our roadways," proclaimed Obama.

According to Distraction.gov, at any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving, a number that has held steady since 2010.

"The Air Force preaches the wingman concept," explained Hauck. "I wholeheartedly agree with that."

Anyone can look the other way. A wingman is the person who speaks up and refuses to let anyone drive impaired, and instead finds a safe way home. By being a wingman, preventing someone from driving under the influence will not only stop negative administrative actions, but also save lives.

"This holiday season, all Americans can drive responsibly and encourage their loved ones to do the same, by designating a sober driver or making alternative transportation arrangements," proclaimed Obama.

For more information, please visit www.NHTSA.gov/DriveSober, www.WhiteHouse.gov/ONDCP/DruggedDriving, and www.Distraction.gov.