Snow and ice aren’t the only dangers on the road during the holiday season. Driving under the influence of alcohol is the number one cause of car crashes that result in death in the United States with an average of 10,497 fatalities per year. The occurrence of these crashes is highest during the holiday season due to the increase in parties and other festivities where alcohol is served.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving formed in 1980 to increase public awareness of the growing number of alcohol-related crashes and to help the public understand that victims were real people with grieving families. The organization was created to display how driving drunk had palpable consequences.
This holiday season, you can do two things to join MADD’s popular “Tie One On for Safety” campaign. Started in 1986, the campaign is one of MADD’s leading public awareness projects aimed at ensuring communities understand how drunk-driving can darken even the brightest of seasons. To participate, all you need to do simply tie a red ribbon to your car to show that you support the movement against drunk driving, and then pledge to either have your own designated driver over the holidays or volunteer as a designated driver yourself.
Although it may seem at first like volunteering as a designated driver is the least appealing option, the job has its perks:
- Your clear head means that you can practice defensive driving techniques and are more likely to avoid collisions.
- You save money by not spending it on alcoholic drinks.
- You can often get free non-alcoholic drinks and appetizers in restaurants by serving as the designated driver.
- You remember everyone’s names and everything that happened at the party.
- You can attract new friends at the event by demonstrating care and consideration for others.
- You won’t have to suffer through a hangover.
- Your friends can return the favor to you in the future.
Be a part of the campaign this year by stepping up and offering to be the designated driver. You can play an important role in keeping our Virginia roads safe by reducing the number of hazardous drivers this holiday season.
You can visit Virginia’s MADD office at 5310 Markel Rd #101, Richmond, VA to pick up a free campaign ribbon.