Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) runs public safety campaigns each year around the Thanksgiving holiday. The Tie One on for Safety Campaign is MADD’s response to substantially increased risks of drinking and driving over the Thanksgiving holiday period. “Thanksgiving weekend” is defined as the Wednesday immediately before Thanksgiving until the Sunday after the holiday. The Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving is so dangerous, MADD actually calls it “Blackout Wednesday.”
There are two questions for motorists to consider: why is Thanksgiving such a high risk time for drunk driving, and what can I do to mitigate the elevated risks of DUI car accidents over this extended holiday weekend?
Understanding Elevated DUI Accident Risks over Thanksgiving
MADD indicates the percentage of drunk driving accidents is 30 percent greater over Thanksgiving as compared with normal non-holiday time periods. In 2010, 174 people died in Thanksgiving holiday DUI accidents, and impaired driving crashes accounted for 40 percent of Thanksgiving weekend fatalities.
This was a substantial increase from the prior year when there were 140 people killed in DUI accidents over Thanksgiving weekend, and when drunk driving was a factor in 34 percent of highway fatalities.
Drink Philly provides an explanation for why so many people in Pennsylvania tend to drink over the Thanksgiving holiday. Possible reasons for the rise in alcohol consumption include:
While you can and should enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday, even if that means having a few drinks, you must make certain that you are not putting yourself and others at risk of auto accidents. Don’t drink and drive and if you are doing to drink, have a designated driver lined up before you start.
Marcus & Mack