Why We Need Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)

Mothers Against Drunk Driving speaks with soldiersMothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) helps educate
everyone about the consequences of drinking and driving.
(Photo by U.S. Pacific Fleet)

Drunk Driving Accidents Happen All Day, Everyday

Twice in my life, I have been hit by drunk drivers. Both times were in the afternoon and the drivers were very impaired.

The first time was a man driving a tow truck (yes, really). He attempted to make a right turn onto a street where I was stopped at a stop sign. His truck wiped out the entire driver’s side of my car. I remember seeing his hands leave the steering wheel, as if it was simply too hard for him to control.

He had just left a bar and was turning into his neighborhood to go home.

The next time I was hit was a man making a left turn in front of my car. He started to stop, then decided to go for the turn anyway, and hit my car virtually head on. My husband, as well as my two-year-old who was in his car seat, luckily were not injured. But I slammed my knee into the dashboard, and all of us went to the hospital.

That driver had a nearly empty container of whiskey in the car with him.

I always wondered what the odds were that I had two experiences with being hit by drunk drivers, but it was a wake-up call that many people are driving under the influence, at every hour of the day.

After the second experience, I joined Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (called “MADD” for short), and supported them wholeheartedly.

MADD Works to Decrease Drinking and Driving

Founded by Candace Lightner in 1980 after her daughter was killed by a drunk driver, the original MADD goal was to have laws changed to prevent drunk driving, especially to get repeat offenders off the roads.

MADD has changed its focus to include increasing awareness about the dangers of social drinking, as well as “drugged” driving. The current president of MADD lost her son when he was a passenger in a car driven by a woman with both alcohol and drugs in her system. He was trapped in the car when she drove it into water.

MADD’s publications provide heart-stopping statistics – such as the fact that the average drunk driver will have driven drunk 80 times before getting caught and that up to 75% of convicted drunk drivers continue to drive on a suspended license.

The facts also show that more men than women drive drunk, as was the case in both of my experiences. But, people are people more commonly drive drunk at night – by a rate 4.5 times higher. People in their 20s are the most dangerous drunken drivers, according to MADD.

In 2013, over 10,000 people died in drunk driving crashes.

This is all a needless waste of life.

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MADD has made a difference by raising awareness and successfully lobbying for harsher laws. People today are a lot less tolerant of someone drinking (or drugging) and driving than they were 30 years ago.

Many people now use a designated driver if they plan to drink, and rideshares like Uber, or shuttle services offered from college campuses to popular bar spots make getting a ride home easier and cheaper.

Harsher laws have made people weigh the possible ramifications of spending time without a license, or having to report DUIs on job applications. MADD also helps victims and provides resources for almost anyone concerned about or involved with this issue.

Help MADD Help Our Children

Still, the issue of underage drinking continues to grow. Statistics show one in six teens binge drink, yet only 1% of parents believe their own child may do it. The reality is, almost 50% of sophomores in high school drink alcohol.

Teens may suffer from all sorts of repercussions from drinking at an early age, including a higher chance of alcoholism, and a higher chance of being involved in a DUI accident.

Parents need to educate themselves to know the signs of teenage drinking. Make sure that teens have a safe ride home if involved in a situation of alcohol or drugs. Educate teenagers, remember people who have been lost to drinking and driving. MADD is a great organization who works to those goals, and that is why we need them.

Remember the lives of loved ones lost to drunk driving. Celebrate their legacy. Start a Fundraiser on a loved one’s Everlasting Footprint.

About Cindy Readnower

Cindy Readnower, MBA, specializes in sales, marketing, and entrepreneurship. An award-winning certified Life Coach, business consultant, and publisher at Skinny Leopard Media, she helps writers produce and promote their books. She is a newspaper columnist, author of "Inherited Secrets," and a blogger.

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