December signifies quite a few important things in the world. Of course, it’s the month of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year’s Eve. But it’s also universally recognized as National Impaired Driving Month, shining a light on those who’ve lost their lives because of people inebriated behind the wheel.
Not surprisingly, the advocacy organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving (better known as M.A.D.D.) is a big proponent of this movement. They have even taken to social media to push awareness about impaired driving and the severe consequences that it can incur.
The M.A.D.D. website published alarming stats that illustrate just how common an occurrence like this can be. For example, in December 2018 more than 840 people died because of alcohol-related automobile accidents. 35 were killed on Christmas Day alone. This is actually part of the reason that National Impaired Driving Month happens now. Simply because the holidays see a large spike in driving under the influence.
The site starts out with a strong statement about just how serious this issue is. “Two of the most celebrated dates in December – Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve – are also among the most dangerous,” the M.A.D.D. statement reads. “In 2018, drunk driving crashes claimed 108 lives in those two days alone, accounting for nearly half of total traffic deaths. The pain caused by one person’s choice to drive impaired is often permanent. Every single death left a permanent empty seat at the table and turned a time of celebration into tragedy. And every single death was 100 percent preventable.”
Law enforcement agencies across the country are also heavily involved in the movement. Previous years saw social media campaigns coming from official police handles and an increase in DUI checkpoints throughout the month.
It is worth noting that this year may be a little different when it comes to impaired driving. We are, of course, in the middle of the COVID-19 health pandemic and it is generally less likely that people will be driving to see family members because of quarantines. Nevertheless, these past few months have seen a large spike in substance abuse due to depression, anxiety and other mental health issues. So we believe that it is just as likely for someone to lose their better judgement and use before driving (whether they’re off to see loved ones or not).
Kudos to M.A.D.D. for continuing to push this important message to the forefront. We certainly want to do our part to spread the word and encourage everyone to stay clean behind the wheel.