Well, November 7 marked a milestone we're hoping we can eliminate completely. Nov. 7, 2000, marked the start of a string of consecutive days where someone has died on a Texas road. That's right - every day for the last fifteen years someone has died in a collision on Texas roads. Take a look:
There's some more information on the whole initiative to #EndTheStreakTX here.
This whole epidemic of traffic deaths is something YOU can help us end by engaging with your family, friends, coworkers and social media followers. Talk about it! Talk about traffic safety and find out what you can do to make the roads you're driving more safe.
Here are a few examples gleaned from a recent discussion with some high schoolers at Sam Clemens High School in Cibolo:
- Buckle up! Statistically speaking, ten percent of you aren't buckling up regularly. Some of you think, "Hey, I'm in the back seat. It's my decision." NO!! Those who are unbuckled in a vehicle become a projectile in a crash, injuring and potentially killing friends and loved ones in the same vehicle. If you don't mind being ejected, that's your choice - but buckle up for the sake of those with whom you're riding!
- Don't tolerate drunk driving. Many of the kids we talked with admitted to knowing a friend or family member who had driven after drinking even within the last few weeks. How do we all feel about this? Well, one student was perhaps most profound: "What the heck is wrong with these people?" We've rebranded the idea of "Designated Driver" to "Person Appointed to Stay Sober" to get across the message that those who drive should not consume alcohol, period. For the time they should be sticking to Sprite or water, period. If you or someone you know has driven after having just one or two, STOP. IT. NOW. It's an incredibly selfish thing to do, driving drunk. What's more, with a growing list of options now available (friends, family, taxi, VIA, Uber, Lyft, SoberRides.org, etc.), there's no excuse for not finding a sober ride home.
- Focus on driving. Distracted driving is becoming an epidemic and has surpassed drunk driving as a cause of traffic deaths among some demographics. Distracted driving doesn't always mean texting - though that's among the most dangerous activities a driver can attempt to "multitask" with. Distracted drivers are those doing anything - anything - besides just driving when in the driver's seat. That seat is not a kitchen seat - eating is a distraction. It's not a phone booth. It's not a desk to do email. It's not a vanity for grooming. It's a drivers seat! The only activity anyone should be doing is driving. Period. Let's simplify our commutes a little and get back to the day when, as a driver, driving is the only activity that should be undertaken.
Let us know how you plan to improve your safe driving skills! As you do, remember to use #EndTheStreakTX.
Together we can end this epidemic that leads to more deaths than any other non-health related cause in America.