The holiday season should be a nice time to enjoy activities with friends and family throughout Portland, Hillsboro, Gresham, and surrounding areas. While celebrating the season is a great thing to do, consuming alcohol and getting behind the wheel is the wrong way to enjoy the holidays. Despite the tremendous risks of impaired driving, many motorists continue to create havoc. Drivers may be unaware that they are too drunk to drive or simply may fail to plan ahead and assume they can make it home. This has a tremendous cost in terms of lost lives.
An experienced personal injury lawyer knows that the period from Thanksgiving to New Years has a very high percentage of impaired driving fatalities. In fact, while drunk driving deaths have generally been declining, the number of deadly crashes during this period of time has increased in recent years. Mothers Against Drunk Driving hopes to prevent this with its public awareness campaign, Tie One on For Safety.
Preventing Holiday Drunk Driving Crashes Through Public Awareness Efforts
The Tie One On for Safety campaign has been going on for 26 years. It gets its name from the expression, to tie one on, which refers to becoming intoxicated or consuming alcohol. MADD is encouraging people to tie on a ribbon, or to affix a red ribbon sticker to their vehicles.
The purpose of the red ribbon is twofold. The ribbon reflects a commitment not to get behind the wheel while impaired and to always drive sober. The ribbon also reflects support for the efforts of police officers, who step up enforcement during the holiday season in order to try to keep intoxicated motorists off of the roads.
The holiday season is a perfect time for such a campaign because it is a period with a higher-than-average percentage of deaths attributed to impaired driving. In 2010, for example, a total of 31 percent of deadly collisions over the course of the year involved a driver who was impaired. During the New Years period, on the other hand, a total of 48 percent of the collisions that caused fatalities involved a driver who was impaired. During the Christmas period, a total of 37 percent of the deadly collisions involved a driver who was intoxicated.
The New Years period is defined as including New Years Eve, New Years day as well as the holiday weekend. During this period of time in 2010, there were 143 motor vehicle accident deaths in crashes involving an impaired driver. In 2009, there were 185 drunk driving New Years deaths and in 2008 there were 175 drunk driving New Years fatalities.
The Christmas period is also defined as including Christmas Eve, Christmas day as well as the holiday weekend. During this period of time in 2010, 96 people died in collisions involving an impaired driver. In 2009, there are also 95 fatalities due to drunk drivers and in 2008, there were 138 drunk driving Christmas deaths.
Hopefully, more motorists this year will participate in MADD’s campaign and fewer drivers will make the choice to get behind the wheel drunk, endangering themselves and others.
Portland accident victims should contact Zbinden & Curtis, Attorneys at Law, by calling 1-503-287-5000 or visiting http://www.zbinden-curtis.com.