Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) Issues Warning About Heightened Impaired Driving Dangers As Memorial Day Approaches

MADD Anticipates Spike in Crashes on Both Roads and Waterways Over Memorial Day Weekend

As Memorial Day approaches, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) issues a stark warning: If you plan to drink, do not drive. The Memorial Day holiday weekend marks the unofficial start of summer and boating season, a period notorious for a surge in impaired driving crashes — both on land and water.

“Year after year, Memorial Day weekend ranks as one of the most dangerous holidays on our nation’s roads and waterways,” said MADD CEO Stacey D. Stewart. “Unfortunately, what should be a time of honor and remembrance too often turns into tragedy due to impaired driving. As friends and families gather to celebrate Memorial Day weekend, MADD urges everyone to prioritize safety and responsibility above all else.”

Drunk driving is completely preventable, however, this violent crime claimed 502 lives during the 2022 Memorial Day holiday period, according to the latest available data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). That number reflects an alarming 4.6% increase in fatalities compared to the same period in 2021. Alcohol continues to be the top contributing factor in fatal boating crashes in 2022, accounting for 88 deaths, or 16% of total fatalities and 148 reported injuries, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

“Alcohol-related deaths and injuries are 100% preventable, 100% of the time,” reiterated Stewart. “It’s illegal to drive any vehicle while impaired — including cars, boats, jet skis, ATVs/UTVs, and all other recreational vehicles. If you plan to celebrate Memorial Day on a boat, hold off from drinking until you are safely off the water. Always plan for a safe ride home in advance, whether by rideshare, designating a non-drinking driver, or using public transportation.”

Each year Memorial Day celebrations also result in an uptick in teen driving deaths. That’s why the period of time between Memorial Day and Labor Day is nicknamed the “100 Deadly Days.” Parents should have open and honest conversations with their children about the risks of underage drinking and the importance of making responsible choices. MADD’s Power of Parents Handbook is a proven resource for parents, offering strategies to safeguard their children against underage drinking and impaired driving.

Memorial Day also falls during the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Click It or Ticket campaign, when law enforcement reminds motorists to buckle up. MADD urges all drivers and passengers to wear their seatbelts.

Drunk driving killed more than 13,000 people for the second year in a row, according to a report released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Drunk driving deaths have increased 33% since 2019. Alcohol-related crashes claimed 32% of all traffic deaths in 2022, up from 31% in 2021.

About Mothers Against Drunk Driving Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nonprofit leader in a movement to create a world where there are #NoMoreVictims of impaired driving. By working in collaboration with law enforcement to end underage drinking and all drunk and drugged driving, MADD has helped reduce drunk driving deaths by more than 50%, saving more than 400,000 lives.

The organization is a vocal advocate for stricter sentencing, new laws, and new technology, including implementing the HALT Drunk Driving Act. MADD also has provided supportive services to nearly one million victims of drunk and drugged driving at no charge through local victim advocates and its 24-Hour Victim Help Line 1-877-MADD-HELP. For more information or to donate, visit us at https://madd.org/ and follow MADD on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Memorial Day weekend ranks as one of the most dangerous holidays on our nation’s roads and waterways. Unfortunately, what should be a time of remembrance too often turns into tragedy due to impaired driving. MADD urges everyone to prioritize safety above all else.

MADD CEO, Stacey D. Stewart

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)

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