Make It to the Table

Don’t Drive Impaired This Thanksgiving

Turkey and stuffing. Sweet potatoes and green bean casserole. Pumpkin and apple pies. We’ve all got our Thanksgiving favorites. But the best part of Thanksgiving isn’t what’s on the table; it’s who’s at your table. If you want to make sure that the people you love arrive to your table safely, urge them not to drive impaired by alcohol or drugs this Thanksgiving holiday.

Over the past 5 years, more people have died in motor vehicle crashes — and more have died in crashes involving alcohol — around the Thanksgiving holiday than over any other holiday period. More than the Fourth of July, Christmas, and even New Year’s Eve, which are more commonly associated with alcohol. There are also signs that an increasing number of people are driving when impaired by marijuana and other drugs.

One reason for the large number of Thanksgiving impaired-driving deaths may be that the days around the holiday are increasingly seen as a time to drink alcohol and use drugs, specifically marijuana. The night before Thanksgiving (which some call “Thanksgiving Eve”) has become a time for going out and drinking. Cooking with marijuana (Danksgiving) is apparently a new trend. In any case, no event should ever end with getting behind the wheel if impaired by alcohol or drugs.

To counteract this trend, NHTSA and its partners will be running a social media blitz for Thanksgiving. Join us on Instagram and Twitter where we will be exclusively sharing content on the importance of planning a sober ride home. Social media posts with the hashtags #BoycottBlackoutWednesday and #DitchDanksgiving are intended to discourage driving drunk or high.

If you’re making plans for Thanksgiving Eve or just planning holiday travel, plan for a sober ride. Wherever you live, you’ve got options: Ridesharing, taxis, public transportation, or a sober friend. You can even use NHTSA’s SaferRide app for Android and Apple devices to help you find a safe ride.

If you need more convincing, think about the people who will be seated around this year’s Thanksgiving table. Now imagine that one of those chairs is empty because someone made the dangerous and selfish choice to get behind the wheel when impaired by alcohol or drugs. That’s the reality of impaired driving. Last year alone, 10,874 people died in drunk-driving crashes.

Whatever your Thanksgiving holiday plans, make sure you’re planning a sober ride. Remind your family and friends about the safe options available to them. Or offer to be the designated driver. Then you’ll really have something to be grateful for on Thanksgiving: a home full of family and friends who made it to the table because they chose to drive sober.