St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in America date back to the country’s founding. While this year’s celebration may look a little different in your hometown, however you celebrate, make sure you and your friends stay safe this St. Paddy’s Day. If you plan to drink, it’s essential that you plan for a sober designated driver. To help keep your community safe, TEAM Coalition is teaming up with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to spread the message about the dangers of drunk driving and promote the benefits of having a plan to get home safely.
According to NHTSA, 10,142 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes in 2019. On average, more than 10,000 people were killed each year from 2015 to 2019. This is why TEAM Coalition is working with NHTSA and all our member organizations to encourage sports and entertainment fans to be responsible. During that same 5-year period, 5.5 million sports and entertainment fans made the pledge to prevent drunk driving by being designated drivers, having designated drivers, using public transportation or taking a ride share.
During the 2019 St. Patrick’s Day weekend alone (6 p.m. March 16 to 5:59 a.m. March 18), more than three out of five (63%) crash fatalities involved a drunk driver. In fact, from 2015 to 2019, a total of 280 lives were lost in drunk-driving crashes during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday. Drivers should also keep an eye out for pedestrians who have had too much to drink. Walking while intoxicated can also be deadly, as lack of attention to their surroundings could put pedestrians at risk of getting hit by a vehicle.
If you’re the designated driver, make sure you keep that promise of safety to yourself and your passengers. It can be a long night, but people are counting on you, not to mention the other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians on the streets. Take the role of designated driver seriously — people are relying on you.
Party with a Plan
Before ever heading out, it’s vital to plan ahead. Be honest with yourself: You know whether you’ll be drinking or not. Follow these ideas to ensure you and your fellow partygoers stay safe.
- Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation or a ride service to get home safely.
- If available, use your community’s sober ride program.
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact your Local Law Enforcement.
- Do you have a friend who has been drinking and is about to drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.
US DOT / NHTSA 2019 NATIONAL DATA:
- In 2019, 10,142 people were killed as a result of alcohol-related (BAC > 0.08) car crashes, a decrease of 5.3% from the 10,710 fatalities in 2018.
- Many, if not most of those lives would have been saved if people did not drive when they were impaired by alcohol or if they used sober, designated drivers or if they simply wore their seat belts.
- Statistics and research clearly show that 21-34 year old males are the demographic most likely to be involved in an automobile crash, drive when impaired by alcohol and fail to buckle up.