According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, between 2013 and 2017, more than 800 people died in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes during the Thanksgiving holiday period (6 p.m. Wednesday to 5:59 a.m. Monday).
They say those numbers make it one of the deadliest holidays on our roads. Because of this, the NHTSA is urging the public to drive sober and to help spread the word.
The administration reports that substance abuse during the Thanksgiving holiday has become a cultural phenomenon, and has even become associated with binge drinking.
To counteract this trend, NHTSA and its partners are running a social media blitz for Thanksgiving. All of the agency’s social media channels, including Instagram and Twitter, will be exclusively sharing content on the importance of planning a sober ride home.
Social media posts with the hashtags #BoycottBlackoutWednesday and #DitchDanksgiving are intended to discourage driving drunk or high.
NHTSA and its partners are urging the public to help spread the word, and to take the following precautions, so everyone can enjoy a safe Thanksgiving and make it to the table.
- Plan ahead and designate a sober driver beforehand.
- Use public transportation, a taxi, a ride share service, or your community’s sober ride program to get home safely.
- Download NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app available on Google Play for Android devices and Apple’s iTunes Store for IOS devices. SaferRide allows users to call a taxi or a predetermined friend, and identifies the user’s location so he or she can be picked up.
- If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact local law enforcement.
- Whether riding or driving, always wear your seat belt.