For the fifth consecutive year, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has partnered with Waymo to help combat drunk driving on the nation’s roadways during the holiday season.
The non-profit and the autonomous driving technology company recently kicked off the 36th Annual Tie One On for Safety Holiday Campaign at Waymo’s Lancaster depot. That’s where Waymo will showcase their fleet of autonomous vehicles displaying red ribbons as a reminder to always designate a non-drinking driver.
The designated driver campaign is a decades-long tradition for MADD, which launched its first one in 1986. By tying red ribbons on cars, the MADD campaign reminds people to designate a non-drinking driver during any and all holiday outings.
In recent years, Waymo came on board and throughout the holidays the company displays MADD’s red ribbons on its entire fleet — from their all-electric Jaguar I-PACEs in California to their Class 8 trucks in Texas. The goal is to encourage all consumers to use safe modes of transportation, especially during the holidays when more people are more likely to imbibe.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates 9,560 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in the first quarter of 2022, which is the largest number of projected traffic fatalities in that time frame since 2002.
As if that isn’t enough, historic data shows that holidays are a particular perilous time on U.S. highways and byways. A report from Zutobi finds that the number of traffic deaths is 30% higher during holidays when compared with equivalent non-holiday periods. From 2016 to 2020, it’s estimated that 10,732 people were killed in car crashes during popular days off.
Thanksgiving is considered to be the worst day for driving, with 2,414 people killed on the nation’s roadways on that day between 2016 and 2020. Christmas ranks as the fifth worst holiday for traffic fatalities, with 1,639 fatalities in the same period.