In just a few days, Americans from Morgantown to Miami and from Missoula to Mesa – and everywhere in between – will be celebrating Thanksgiving with family, friends and good food. Unfortunately, some celebrations will feature an excess of alcohol.

We all know that far too often drinking and driving ends in entirely preventable motor vehicle crashes, injuries and fatalities.

Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) says that drunk driving is still the number one cause of death on our nation’s roadways. Unfortunately, distracted driving and drugged driving are both becoming more common causes of senseless tragedies across West Virginia and the rest of the country.

The renowned organization points out that even though those two causes are gaining on drunk driving, more than 10,500 people were killed last year in wrecks caused by drivers who had consumed too much alcohol. There were also more 300,000 people injured in crashes caused by drunk drivers.

Another way of looking at the harsh statistics:

  • Every two minutes, someone in the U.S. is injured by a drunk driver
  • Every 51 minutes, someone in the nation is killed in a crash caused by a drunk driver

MADD also points out that people are sometimes confused by the term “drugged driving,” assuming that it refers to people who have consumed illegal drugs. It does indeed refer to them, but it also refers to folks who have taken prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs that impair their ability to navigate the streets safely.

Please don’t drive over the coming holiday weekend if you have consumed impairing medications, drugs or any amount of alcohol. Let’s have a Thanksgiving we can all remember fondly for years to come.

 

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