As millions of Americans take to the roads to travel home and spend the Thanksgiving holiday with friends and loved ones, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) is serving them a reminder: “Make It to the Table: Don’t Drink and Drive this Thanksgiving Eve”.

The Wednesday night before Thanksgiving is a cultural phenomenon called “Thanksgiving Eve,” an evening associated with drinking and a big night for bars. From 2012 to 2016, over 800 people died in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes during the Thanksgiving holiday period (6:00 p.m. Wednesday to 5:59 a.m. Monday), making it the deadliest holiday on U.S. roads.

On Nov. 22, USDOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will be exclusively sharing content across its social media channels on the importance of not drinking and driving, and how to plan ahead for a sober ride home. The hashtags #buzzeddriving and #designateddriver will be used to share the message. The public is urged to help spread the word.

The NHTSA’s tips for a safe Thanksgiving Eve are:

  • Plan ahead and designate a sober driver before the first drink
  • Use public transportation, a taxi, ride share service, or your community’s sober ride program to get home safely
  • Download NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app available on Google Play for Android devices and Apple’s iTunes Store for IOS devices. SaferRide allows users to call a taxi or a predetermined friend, and identifies the user’s location so he or she can be picked up.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local law enforcement
  • Whether riding or driving, always wear your seat belt