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NHTSA Advises Motorists to Drive Sober This Thanksgiving

Holiday can be deadly without careful planning

| Washington, DC

As millions of Americans travel on U.S. roads to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with friends and family, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and its partners are urging the public to drive sober and to help spread the word.

Substance abuse during this holiday has become something of a cultural phenomenon, and is associated with binge drinking. It has been promoted on social media as “Blackout Wednesday,” “Drinksgiving,” or Thanksgiving Eve;” “Danksgiving” also occurs during the Thanksgiving weekend but is related to marijuana use.

According to NHTSA, between 2013 and 2017, more than 800 people died in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes during the Thanksgiving holiday period (6 p.m. Wednesday to 5:59 a.m. Monday), making it one of the deadliest holiday on our roads.  

To counteract this trend, NHTSA and its partners will be running a social media blitz for Thanksgiving. All of the agency’s social media channels, including Instagram and Twitter, 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.

NHTSA and its partners are urging the public and the media to help spread the word, and to take the following precautions, so everyone can enjoy a safe Thanksgiving and make it to the table.

  • Plan ahead and designate a sober driver beforehand.
  • Use public transportation, a taxi, a ride share service, or your community’s sober ride program to get home safely.
  • Download NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app available on Google Play for Android devices and Apple’s iTunes Store for IOS devices. SaferRide allows users to call a taxi or a predetermined friend, and identifies the user’s location so he or she can be picked up.
  • If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact local law enforcement. 
  • Whether riding or driving, always wear your seat belt.

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