DALLAS, TEXAS — August 31, 2023 — Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) projects that drunk driving deaths may surge 40% during Labor Day Weekend, based on the most recent data available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This comes on top of a 27% year-round increase in deaths caused by drunk driving since 2018, with someone in the U.S. now killed or injured in a drunk driving crash every 79 seconds, on average. In 2021, In 2021, 1,134 people in Texas were killed and 2,565 seriously injured due to drunk driving.
To reverse this trend, MADD is working with law enforcement agencies across the state of Texas to encourage hazardous driving stops and more patrols, which reduce drunk driving deaths by up to 20%, according to the U.S. CDC. These prevention efforts coincide with NHTSA’s “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign.
“Over Labor Day weekend, drunk driving causes roughly 41% of traffic fatalities. This is a 100% preventable crime, and ending it is key to ensuring that the fun lasts long after summer ends,” said Tess Rowland, MADD national president, who was severely injured by a drunk driver in 2021.
This year, MADD is working to spotlight the dangers from all forms of impaired driving, which includes drunk and drugged driving, as well as the use of multiple substances, or “poly use.” The nonprofit points to a growing body of state and academic data showing that even experienced cannabis users experience physiological effects that impair driving and can be dangerous, even over short distances.
“There is no good reason to risk the serious consequences associated with impaired driving, most notably hurting or even killing yourself or someone else. We want everyone to have a good time, and that means choosing not to drive if there’s a chance you’re impaired,” said MADD CEO Stacey D. Stewart.
In Texas, MADD is accelerating efforts to equip the public with facts and actionable advice to prevent drunk driving. Funded through TXDOT and The Take the Wheel Initiative, MADD is partnering with local police department to endure high visibility DWI enforcement. MADD also encourages people to plan ahead for a designated driver or take a taxi, rideshare service, or public transit.
“You also can make a difference if faced with a situation where someone who’s impaired is trying to drive. Be as non-confrontational as possible, remind them that you care, give them safe alternatives, and remember to speak more slowly and simply, since they are impaired,” said Emma Dugas, MADD State Program Manager. “Visit MADD.org for more tips on how to prevent impaired driving. Help raise awareness by following MADD Texas on social media. And consider volunteering or donating to MADD to help create a world where there are No More Victims of this senseless crime.”
If you, or someone you love, has been the victim of impaired driving, support is available at no cost 24 hours a day via the MADD Victim Help Line 1-877-MADD-HELP (1-877-623-3435) or www.MADD.org.