Every day in the United States, 32 people die in car accidents caused by drunk drivers. Every holiday season, the number of drunk driving accidents, and therefore the number of deaths, goes up all over the country. It’s a sad part of what is supposed to be a joyous time. Thousands of people are injured or killed every year because someone chose to get into their car and drive after having too much to drink. Since its founding in 1980, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has been on a mission to reduce the frequency of drunk driving, and to fight for harsher penalties for those who drive drunk. To increase awareness, and get more people involved in the fight, MADD created the Tie One On For Safety program.
In 1986, MADD began asking drivers to tie red ribbons to, or display red decals on their vehicles during the holiday season. The ribbons and decals serve as reminders to those drivers, and everyone who sees them, to drive safely during the holidays. This includes staying sober, buckling up, and being a cautious and safe driver.
If you’re interested in participating in the Tie One On For Safety program, red ribbons and decals are available from local MADD offices. If there’s not an affiliate near you, any red ribbon will do.
Showing support this way is a good start, but if you’d like to be more active in the cause, there are a few other things you can do:
- Host a party where you only serve non-alcoholic drinks.
- If you decide to serve alcohol, allow your guests to stay the night, be their designated driver, or call taxis to take them home at the end of the night.
- Offer to be the designated driver when going out with a group of friends.
- Start a designated driver program in your community.
- Above all, don’t let a friend or loved one drive a vehicle if they’ve had too much to drink, and don’t ever get into a vehicle with someone who is drunk.
In addition to all of these things, one of the best ways to speak out against drunk driving is to do just that. Talk to friends, family, and coworkers about the dangers of driving drunk. If you’ve ever been a victim of drunk driving, or know someone who has, share that experience with others to help them understand how devastating it can be, and how dangerous it is. Only through education and effort will drunk driving become a thing of the past.