MADD Urges Motorists to Dive Carefully During Holiday Season

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Massachusetts, in partnership with Fundación MAPFRE, is kicking off a safe 2020 holiday season. Drivers can show their commitment to keeping themselves and our communities safe by designating a non-drinking driver and displaying a MADD Tie One On for Safety red ribbon or magnetic decal on their vehicles during this holiday season.

“Whether you’re traveling or hosting a small socially distanced group, always remember your designated driver,” said Mary Kate DePamphilis, MADD Massachusetts. “Everyone can help keep our holiday season joyous by planning ahead when celebrations include alcohol. Take personal responsibility for your travel by choosing a non-drinking, unimpaired driver and remember to include non-alcoholic options for the designated drivers who are guests in your home.”

 The holidays are among the most dangerous times on our nation’s roadways, with more people traveling, an increased number of events where alcohol is served, and a surge in drunk driving. Between 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Eve through New Year’s Eve in 2018, there were 1,068 lives lost to drunk driving across the country, accounting for 29 percent of all traffic deaths, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). 

In addition, a new study by NHTSA shows an alarming increase in the presence of alcohol and other drugs among traffic crash victims during the COVID-19 pandemic. From March 17 to July 18, 64.7 percent of drivers tested positive for at least one active drug (including alcohol), compared to 50.8 percent from Sept. 10, 2019, to March 16. Alcohol presence was found in 28.3 percent of drivers involved in crashes, up from 21.8 percent before the pandemic. Other drugs are also a concern: 32.7 percent of drivers tested positive for active THC, and opioid presence among drivers almost doubled from 7.5 percent to 13.9 percent. 

With so many options today such as Uber and Lyft, taxis and public transportation there is no excuse to drive while impaired by alcohol or other drugs.

Last year, more than 120 people were killed in impaired driving crashes in Massachusetts alone. That doesn’t include the thousands who were injured severely.

Since 1986, MADD has helped to make the “designated driver” a household name through its longest-running annual public awareness campaign, Tie One On for Safety. This red ribbon campaign is held annually during November and December. December is also National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, a designation proclaimed by every U.S. President since 1981. 

 MADD thanks all law enforcement personnel who will be working harder than ever this holiday season to protect the public from drunk driving through increased patrols and Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement efforts. 

MADD is grateful for the partnership of its National Tie One On for Safety presenting sponsor, Waymo. Because of the work of strategic partners like Waymo, MADD is confident that reaching a future of no more victims is attainable. But to get there, we will need everyone to join in our lifesaving work by making plans before the festivities begin, designating a non-drinking, non-consuming driver and buckling up this holiday season.

On the local level, MADD is thrilled with its ongoing partnership with Fundación MAPFRE through Tie One On for Safety and various other events throughout the year. Together MADD and Fundación MAPFRE work within the community to raise awareness for safer roads within the Commonwealth. Employees are encouraged to participate in Tie One On for Safety, both within company offices in Webster, MA and in their own communities.  To learn more about Tie One On for Safety and to get your red ribbons for the holiday season for yourself or your group, email [email protected] or call 781-328-0002. 

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