NHTSA’s Cinco de Mayo Safety Campaign

Cinco de Mayo has become synonymous with big parties and alcohol consumption. In 2012 alone, 89 people died in preventable drunk driving crashes during the Cinco de Mayo holiday. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) wants to remind Cinco de Mayo party-goers to designate a driver before celebrating. Planning ahead is the best way to ensure a safe ride home. It’s important to note that in some cases, one drink is one drink too many.

“Don’t Let Fiestas Lead to Fatalities”

The NHTSA wants people to enjoy this big night out responsibly. They’re encouraging party-goers to leave their keys at home. Planning ahead and designating a driver are the best ways to make sure you get home safely. It also helps to have a backup plan. Your backup plan can be as simple as pre-programming a cab company’s number into your phone. The NHTSA doesn’t encourage impaired walking, which can be just as dangerous as impaired driving, so find a sober friend to walk you home if you’re traveling on foot. Don’t forget that buzzed driving is drunk driving too, so don’t get behind the wheel if you’ve had anything at all to drink.

Drunk Driving Fatalities on Cinco de Mayo

• In 2012, 89 people were killed in drunk driving crashes around the Cinco de Mayo holiday, (6:00 p.m. May 4th to 5:59 a.m. May 6th.)
• In 2012, over a third of all drivers involved in fatal crashes on Cinco de Mayo had blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) of .08 or higher.
• From 2008 to 2012, 233 people were killed in drunk driving crashes around the Cinco de Mayo holiday.
• In 2012, 71 percent of drunk drivers involved in fatal crashes on Cinco de Mayo had BAC’s of .15 or over.
• In 2012, 198 people died in crashes around Cinco de Mayo, and almost half of those fatalities were due to preventable drunk driving crashes.

Designate a Sober Driver This Cinco de Mayo

Unfortunately, some people still think it’s okay to drink “just a little” and get behind the wheel. The NHTSA wants people to know that buzzed driving is drunk driving. Celebrate responsibly, and if you see a drunk driver on the road, call local law enforcement as soon as it is safe to do so. It could save a life. Hopefully, the increased law enforcement efforts and publicized safety campaign will make Cinco de Mayo a safer holiday for all roadway users.

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