The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and Lyft have awarded grants to State Highway Safety Offices to help prevent impaired driving this holiday season.
Offices in Colorado, Illinois, New Mexico, North Carolina and Texas have been given nearly $100,000 in grant funds and Lyft ride credits to support the campaign.
Now in its third year, the program encourages individuals who consume alcohol and other impairing substances to use ride-hail, rather than put themselves and others at risk on the road.
The program is deemed to be even more critical this year, as recently released National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data for the first half of 2020 found that while traffic volume was down significantly, motor vehicle fatalities did not fall at similar rates.
Drivers who were on the road during this period were also more likely to engage in risky behaviors such as speeding, drunk driving and not buckling up. NHTSA examined fatal and serious injury data collected at five trauma centers during this same time period and found more than half of drivers tested positive for one active drug, including alcohol, marijuana or opioids.
“This doesn’t bode well for the upcoming holiday season,” said GHSA Senior Director of External Engagement Pam Shadel Fischer and author of the association’s December 2019 report on high-risk impaired drivers.
“Particularly when you consider that COVID-19 could result in different transportation patterns or celebration locations. That decision could lead to an increase in impaired driving with the potential for fatal consequences.”
Updates on state campaign activities funded by these grants will be shared via GHSA’s social media channels throughout the holidays and on the association’s website.