Tie a ribbon to help eliminate drunk driving

Botsford Trauma Center is joining Mothers Against Drunk Driver’s (MADD) Eliminate Drunk Driving Campaign by distributing (500) red “MADD” ribbons* to tie onto vehicle antennas as a pledge to drive safe, sober and buckle up during the holidays and throughout the year.

December is one of the busiest months on the nation’s roadways, and also one of the most dangerous, due to a high incidence of alcohol and drug-related traffic crashes. It has recently been designated as the National Impaired Prevention Month. On November 13th 2011, President Obama signed a proclamation designating December as the official month for National Impaired Driving Prevention:

I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States do hereby proclaim December 2011 as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. I urge all Americans to make responsible decisions and take appropriate measures to prevent impaired driving.

“As we strive to reduce the damage drug use inflicts upon our communities, we must address the serious and growing threat drunk, drugged and distracted driving poses to all Americans.” – President Obama.

During December of 2009, there were 753 people killed in traffic crashed that involved a drunk driver. It is estimated that approximately 11,000 people will die this year in drunk-driving crashes – one every 50 minutes.

U.S. drivers got behind the wheel after drinking too much about 112 million times in 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).1

More facts:

  •  Every minute, one person is injured in an alcohol-related crash.One in three will be involved in an alcohol-related crash.
  • An average drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before the first arrest.
  • Car crashes are the leading cause of death for everyone ages 5-34.
  • Teen alcohol use kills about 6000 people each year, more than all illegal drugs combined.

MADD suggests a few tips to help everyone celebrate safer during the holidays.

  • Designate a sober driver before celebrations begin.
  • Plan safe parties, including non-alcohol drink options to guests and not serving alcohol the last hour of the gathering.
  • Never serve alcohol to those under the age of 21.
  • If you’ve been drinking, utilize a taxi, call a sober friend/family member, or use public transportation.
  • If you see an impaired driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact your local law enforcement and maintain a good distance from their vehicle.
  • If you know someone who is about to drive or ride with a driver who is impaired, that steps to help them make other arrangements to get to their location safely or even take away their keys.

Over the previous holiday seasons, Botsford Trauma Center has seen an increase in alcohol-related injuries so I urge you to recognize the importance of being a responsible “drinker” by taking the appropriate steps and practicing safe habits when celebrating with alcohol.

Driving drunk is never OK.

Choose not to drink and drive and help others to do the same. Remember to buckle up every time, encourage all passengers to wear their seat belts as well, and have a safe and happy holiday!

For additional information and resources please visit:

www.cdc.gov

www.madd.org

www.nhtsa.gov

www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/11/30/presidential-proclamation-national-impaired-driving-prevention-month-201

Rhonda Thompson, RN, Injury Prevention Coordinator, Botsford Hospital Trauma Services, 28050 Grand River Avenue, Farmington Hills, MI 48336. (248)888-2586. rthompson@botsford.org

*Ribbons will be available (while supplies last) at the ER/Trauma-security desk, main entrance information desk, and the Trauma Dept Office – 5 Central.

Botsford Trauma Services is not affiliated in any way with MADD but do support the fight against impaired driving.

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About Rhonda Thompson, EMT, RN

Rhonda Thompson, RN, is an injury prevention coordinator at Botsford Hospital in the Trauma Services department. She is also a certified emergency medical technician.
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