Having a loved one killed by a careless or drunk driver brings acres of sadness and anger, often unrecognized especially by those who have yet to experience a personal loss.
HealthDay reported today on new research published by the American Academy of Pediatrics on the risk factors in early adolescence that later lead to driving under the influence and riding with a drinking driver.
Teen alcohol use kills about 4,700 people each year — more than all other illegal drugs combined. Teens have so much to look forward to... homecoming, graduation, pursuing a career, having a family and more. The choices teens make today will impact the rest of their lives.
When a loved one is killed in a traumatic event such as a substance impaired driving crash, the emotional impact of the event is intense and overwhelming for those left behind. Many survivors may question why they survived when others did not. This is commonly known as survivor guilt, and many victims and survivors of substance impaired driving crashes experience this.
Three days after turning 15, Zachary Gonzalez was killed by a drugged driver while riding his bike with friends. The driver was found to have valium and cocaine in his system and had five cocaine pipes in his vehicle that all tested positive. His only concern following the crash was getting his “oxys” (OxyContin) out of his car.
This Saturday marks the official 35th anniversary for MADD. Since September 5, 1980, MADD has championed change across the country. A change in mindset, a change in action, a change in outcome. MADD was founded because of a mother’s grief, and the determination to turn that grief into action. That determination, that commitment to change, is what has always driven us.
MADD and the National Football League are partnering once again this football season to remind fans to “Play the Most Valuable Position in the NFL—the Designated Driver!” Through this game-day partnership, MADD volunteers attend select NFL football games throughout the season providing information at MADD booths, as well as circulate through the parking lots promoting the importance of designating a non-drinking driver before the game begins.
On September 29, 2012, Shelly Janeke Easter was on her way home from picking up sandwiches for her family when she was hit and killed by a drunk driver. The driver was traveling at an excessive speed, ran a red light while passing cars in the wrong lane and hit Shelly’s SUV head on. Shelly died at the scene. She was only four blocks from home.
Labor Day weekend is a time to celebrate the end of summer with backyard barbecues, beach trips and family gatherings. But all too often, the festivities turn tragic with one wrong decision to drink and drive.
On July 9, 2011, 7-year-old Xitclalli “Chilli” Vaszquez spent the day at the mall with her sister, cousin, and aunt. She got her hair cut so that she would look extra pretty for her 8th birthday that was just three days away. On their way home, a drunk driver hit the car she was riding in head-on. The doctors didn’t think she would survive—but she did. And her life will never be the same.
During a recent trip to Savannah, Georgia, I was amazed by the turnout of more than 400 state and local first responders at the Georgia Highway Safety Conference. The mission of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, “…to educate the public on traffic safety and facilitate the implementation of programs that reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities on Georgia roadways,” lines up perfectly with our goals at MADD.