Thanksgiving 2012 is just hours away and the holiday season is well upon us, so it’s time to talk turkey — not the stuffed and roasted kind — but about an important holiday essential … designated drivers. These are the heroes who save lives and prevent costly DUIs.

If you’re like 51.8 percent of Americans  who like to have a drink or 2, chances are your celebrations could include no small amount of “holiday cheer.” But before you dip into the eggnog or spike the punch, it’s important to know how you (or your guests) will be getting home at the end of the evening. Which brings us to those unsung heroes of every party: designated drivers.

But who are these selfless souls who sacrifice sangria for sobriety and promise to get you safely home? It might be your better half, your mom or sibling, or your BFF. In fact, your DD could be anyone with a drivers license, a little patience, and a whole lot of awesomeness.

What exactly does this awesomeness entail? Let’s take a moment to break it down.

What is a designated driver?

As someone who volunteers to chauffeur merrymakers to the party and back, whilst avoiding the holiday spirits, the designated driver is first and foremost safe, sane, and SOBER. Aside from these enviable qualities, here are the top 5 traits of designated drivers.

1. A DD knows how to drive

Since “driver” is just as important as “designated,” DDs must, obviously, have a drivers license. Bonus points if they also have a car with no major mechanical issues and fully functioning taillights.

2. A DD has a high tolerance (for the absurd)

Okay, we’ll be honest here. Spending the evening with a group of revelers can be trying. Between convincing their friends to put their pants back on and going along with a bevy of harebrained schemes (”Sure, swimming in the fountain sounds great”), designated drivers have to put up with a lot.

3. A DD is prepared

When you’re tasked with chauffeuring a carful of rowdy revelers, common sense says that you better be prepared. It should come as no surprise, then, that DDs are ready for anything … from Celine Dion singalongs, to midnight drive-through runs, to quick stops on the side of the road (when car rides and cocktails don’t mix).

4. A DD boasts supreme focus

Friends are fun. Friends who’ve had too much eggnog, on the other hand, can be somewhat distracting when you’re trying to drive. But a good DD, like every superhero, possesses superhuman focus. Undeterred by the most audacious feats (ahem, mooning out the window?), the designated driver keeps calm, drives on, never once taking their eyes off the road.

5. A DD is endowed with a huge sense of humor

Anyone who willingly volunteers to drive partygoers after an evening of excess must obviously have a healthy sense of humor.

Celebrate the designated driver

This holiday season, Esurance is celebrating designated drivers. If you’re on the market for a DD or owe thanks to one, check out our Facebook tab for shareable please and TKU cards. It’s easy. It’s fun. And who knows, it could be a lifesaver.

Happy Thanksgiving 2012

AAA projects that 43.6 million will travel over Thanksgiving weekend. Wherever your celebration takes you this season and however you plan on getting there (whether by car, train, plane, or foot), we wish you and yours safe and smart travels.

Want to know more? Here are the surprising ways that a DUI could cost a fortune.



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about Anne

If variety is the spice of a copywriter’s life, then Anne’s career at Esurance was akin to sassafras. From 2010 to 2014, she added a touch of zest to topics ranging from cleaning with baking soda to becoming a first-time homeowner.