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Coping with Career-Changing Injuries
By MADD | July 24, 2014 | Filed in: Victim Services , Drunk Driving

Originally featured in the 2014 summer edition of MADDvocate®.

Every 90 seconds, someone is injured in a drunk driving crash. And as we know, first there’s the crash, then the lifelong impact. No one should try to minimize the challenge of adjusting to a new future or letting go of an old life. The reality is that many injured victims must build new lives, and often that includes a new career.

Courageous injured victims Brittany Kirby and Chris Mann share how they successfully rebuilt their lives and their careers—one painful step at a time.

Bad Things Happen to Good People

On February 13, 2009, 19-year-old Brittany, her friend Rachel, and Rachel’s two young children were driving out of town for a Valentine’s Day weekend getaway. Without warning, a drunk driver with a BAC of .15 crossed the center lane of the Tennessee road they were traveling on, and hit their car head-on.

“I don’t remember the crash,” Brittany says. “My injuries included two shattered bones in my left arm, a shattered knee joint and a traumatic brain injury. I was on life support because of my brain injury and I had to undergo eight surgeries.”

Brittany was told that Rachel was in a medically induced coma to help her body heal. Rachel died two days later. Her two children survived.

Chris Mann was living his dream of being a law enforcement officer. He spent four successful years with the Lawrence, Kansas, Police Department. While on patrol and training a rookie officer in the early morning hours of January 11, 2002, his life was forever changed.

“We pulled an SUV with no taillights over,” Chris recalls. “It was a routine traffic stop, until I caught the flash of headlights coming toward me. I didn’t have time to move before I was hit.” Chris says he was walking in front of his patrol car when a drunk driver struck the car from behind, pushing the car into him, sending him airborne. “I landed unconscious on the side of the road, 30 feet from where I had been standing.” Miraculously nothing was broken, but the soft tissue damage to his leg was extensive.

After months of physical therapy he tried to go back to work, but his leg could not hold up. When he was removed from active duty, Chris had to contemplate what to do with the rest of his life.

Adjusting to life after an injury and learning to live with new limitations can be extremely frustrating. Injured victims must heal emotionally as well as physically.

Read the rest of this article in the MADDvocate.

Find More Resources

MADD offers brochures for crash victims, in English and Spanish, covering grief and healing, talking to children and teens about death, coping with serious injury, the criminal and civil court system, and more. Click here.


Stay Safe on the Road This Summer
By MADD | July 16, 2014 | Filed in: Drunk Driving

During the summer months, families often take to the highways for vacations and extended road trips. While these excursions can start off as a happy occasion, they can too often result in tragedy.

A new infographic from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Ad Council shows how even if the drunk driving crash doesn’t kill or seriously injure you, the consequences will still ruin your life.

Safe Summer Driving

Renew Your Commitment to Drunk Driving Prevention
By MADD | July 10, 2014 | Filed in: Drunk Driving

A recent study, released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about the financial impact of motor vehicle crashes, shows that if drunk driving continues at its present level, an average of two out of three people in the United States will be involved in a drunk driving crash in their lifetime. This is a significant increase over previous data, which estimated that one in three people will be involved.

In light of these concerning new findings, and in an ongoing effort to prevent the devastating consequences of drunk driving, MADD is calling on Americans to renew their commitment to drunk driving prevention this summer.

Take the pledge now.

Other significant drunk driving findings from the study include:

  • The economic impact of drunk driving is second only to speeding.
  • The annual cost of drunk driving in the U.S. is $199 billion, which is up from previous estimates of $132 billion.
  • The number of injuries each year attributed to drunk driving is 290,000, which is down from previous estimates of 345,000 injuries.
  • The number of crashes each year that involve a drunk driver is 2.65 million, which is up from 2.09 million in 2000.

This should serve as a wake-up call. There is no denying the devastating impact of drunk driving on our families, communities, and the country as a whole. Luckily, the solution is simple: just don’t drink and drive. It’s not worth it.

For more information about MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving, visit www.madd.org/campaign.

Click here to add your name to the list of people renewing their commitment to drunk driving prevention.


Alisa's Law
By MADD | July 8, 2014 | Filed in: Drunk Driving

Today, Representative Nita Lowey introduced a bill in the House of Representatives that would push states to require the use of ignition interlock devices for a minimum of six months for all convicted drunk driving offenders. States that fail to comply would face a reduction in federal transportation funding.

The bill is called “Alisa’s Law,” in honor of the daughter of MADD National President Jan Withers. Yesterday would have been Alisa’s 38th birthday had her life not been tragically cut short by a drunk driver when she was just 15.

If passed, this legislation would represent a significant milestone for MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving®.  When the Campaign was launched in 2006, New Mexico was the only state to require all convicted drunk drivers to use an ignition interlock. Today, 24 states have passed similar legislation, and California instituted a pilot program that covers over 13 million people. The most recent count shows that over 300,000 interlocks are installed in the United States.

Every major traffic safety organization including the National Transportation Safety Board and AAA has endorsed the concept. As part of the MAP-21 surface transportation bill, Congress approved an ignition interlock incentive grant program to give financial incentives to states which pass all offender interlock legislation. Alisa’s Law is the next major step towards a nation without drunk driving, a crime that still causes almost one-out-of three highway deaths.

MADD thanks Congresswoman Lowey for her leadership to help eliminate drunk driving.


Teaming Up With Uber for Independence Day
By MADD | July 2, 2014 | Filed in: Drunk Driving

MADD and Uber are launching a national partnership for the Fourth of July holiday, one of the deadliest drunk driving holidays.

This Fourth of July, MADD will receive $1 for each rider in any of Uber’s 70 U.S. cities who uses the UberMADD promo code, and MADD will also receive $10 for each new Uber user who signs up and uses the UberMADD promo code on the Fourth of July.

MADD supports Uber, and other types of car services, as an alternative transportation option for adults who plan to drink alcohol.

Thank you Uber for helping to prevent needless deaths and injuries because of drunk driving. 

Help us spread the word on social media about Uber’s support of MADD using #UberMADD!



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