Whatever it is you're celebrating this time of year, here's hoping your time is well-spent with family and friends.
During last year's holiday season (defined as the month-long stretch between December 1 and January 1) some 2,400 alcohol-related crashes occurred across the great state of Texas. Nearly 200 people were seriously injured. Even more ominous, 110 people lost their lives.
State-wide we saw an 8 percent increase in alcohol-related fatalities over 2013.
This is a problem we're seeing state-wide (and even more so locally) year-round: drunk or distracted driving is leading to deaths on our roadways. We even kicked off a social media event last month highlighting the fact we've had 15 full years without a fatality-free day on our highways. You might have seen the #EndTheStreakTX hashtag designed to promote awareness and bring safe driving to the forefront of our conversations.
For now, though, we're focused on making this holiday season fatality free. You may have already seen bits of our Plan While You Can campaign, featuring an interactive dodgeball game that uses custom gaming technology to replicate the effects of alcohol on a person’s reflexes. We'll be at La Cantera between 2 and 8 p.m. tomorrow (Tuesday) with the game - stop by and see us to play and get some sober-driving swag.
The campaign uses the #PlanWhileYouCan hashtag to encourage folks to find alternatives to drinking and driving. These alternatives are incredibly simple:
- Call a taxi
- Use a rideshare or other transportation app on your smartphone
- Use mass transit (VIA)
- Ask a sober friend or family member for a ride home (sober means someone who's not had a single drink!)
- Spend the night where you are
By the way ... we're asking you to join us in this online crusade. We're hosting a contest on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. Create a post, tagging up to three friends, about your efforts to plan ahead with the #PlanWhileYouCan hashtag and you'll be entered to win a prize courtesy of one of our several corporate partners in this effort. While you don't have to follow us to qualify for the prize, you're certainly welcome to:
Nationwide a ton of catchy phrases abound to try reminding folks to do the safe and responsible thing this holiday season, but the absolute bottom line here is to make sure you do NOT drive after drinking. Also, if you're traveling, make sure it's someone NOT sitting in the driver's seat that does the navigating. When you're in the driver's seat, your only job is to drive. Let your passengers help navigate if needed. Let your passengers call loved ones or text friends to provide travel updates or to check on the status of those flights.
Let's have the greatest gift we can give this holiday season - the gift of time spent with loved ones. Do all you can to #PlanWhileYouCan and help us #EndTheStreakTX and enjoy the holidays and have a happy New Year.