As millions of Americans get on the roads to travel home and spend the Thanksgiving holiday reconnecting with friends and loved ones, the U.S. Department of Transportation is serving them a reminder: “Make It to the Table: Don’t Drink and Drive this Thanksgiving Eve.”
The Wednesday night before Thanksgiving is a cultural phenomenon called “Thanksgiving Eve,” an evening associated with drinking and a big night for bars. From 2012 to 2016, over 800 people died in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes during the Thanksgiving holiday period (6:00 p.m. Wednesday to 5:59 a.m. Monday), making it the deadliest holiday on our roads.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and its partners will be running a blitz social media campaign, “Make It to the Table: Don’t Drink and Drive this Thanksgiving Eve.” On Nov. 22, the day before Thanksgiving, all of the agency’s social media channels will be exclusively sharing content on the importance of not drinking and driving and planning ahead for a sober ride home – a true takeover. Social posts, Instagram images, and tweets with hashtags to boycott #buzzeddriving and plan a #designateddriver will be available for partners to participate and distribute this critical message.
NHTSA and its partners are urging the public and the media to help spread the word, and to take precautions, so everyone can make it to the table this Thanksgiving by:
- Planning ahead and designating a sober driver before the first drink.
- Using public transportation, a taxi, ride share service, or your community’s sober ride program to get home safely.
- Downloading 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 a drunk driver on the road, contact local law enforcement. Whether riding or driving, always wear your seat belt.
In addition to this social media takeover, when covering the Thanksgiving travel period, please consider including the important points above, as well as NHTSA’s Winter Driving Tips, and remind your audiences to never mix drinking and driving.