Archive for October, 2013

Halloween is an exciting time, filled with magical princesses, scary ghosts and bewitching goblins. It can also be a very dangerous time when drivers mix holiday fun with alcohol.

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates that Halloween is among one of the most deadly holidays for drunk driving. For the holiday period — from October 30 through 5:59 a.m. on November 1, 2011 — 74 people died nationwide in a crash involving a drunk driver, a 21 percent increase over the average number of drunk driving deaths per day. That is why Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Nebraska is asking everyone to make advance plans to stay safe.

Whether you are trick-or-treating with your child, headed to a party or hosting a party, MADD Nebraska urges you to please consider these safety tips:

Going trick-or-treating:

  • Be extra alert when crossing the street.
  • Wear bright, reflective clothing or add reflective tape to costumes and treat buckets.
  • Bring a flashlight (with extra batteries) so you can see and be seen at night.

Attending a party:                                                                                

  • Designate a non-drinking driver before you head out to make sure you — and everyone with you — arrive home safely.
  • Save the number of a local cab service in your phone prior to heading out.
  • Consider hiring a shuttle or limousine service to transport you and your friends to and from your event.
  • Arrange a hotel stay for you and your friends on the evening of the event so no one drives home impaired.

Hosting a Halloween party:

  • Never serve alcohol to those under the age of 21.
  • Plan safe parties, including providing non-alcoholic drink options to guests and not serving alcohol during the last hour of the party.
  • Provide plenty of food to keep your guests from drinking on an empty stomach.
  • Avoid too many salty snacks, which tend to make people thirsty and drink more.
  • Be prepared to get everyone home safe by having the number of a taxi service on hand for those who need a ride.

Remember to put safety first this Halloween by designating a non-drinking driver and encouraging everyone else to do the same.

The second annual Nebraska Walk Like MADD took place this past Sunday. And for the second year we were lucky to have a beautiful day, a great turnout and a successful event. An event that is only successful because of you, the people that believe in the MADD mission and support the work MADD does in our state.

I think often times people believe events, like walks, should be labeled fundraising events. But, they couldn’t be more wrong. While our walk does help raise funds that help us continue our mission in the state, it is so much bigger than that. I like to think of it as inspiration event. Looking around on Sunday, inspiration is exactly what I saw.

Families, who came out not to mourn but to celebrate the lives of their loved ones taken by drunk driving. Friends, people who have been bonded by like tragedy, talking, laughing, healing. Volunteers, passionate about making a difference working hard to make the day. New faces, a community stepping out to say that they too believe that this crime has taken too many lives and it is time for it to end. All of these people, whether they realized it or not, were walking to inspire others.

This inspiration is why we will continue to walk year after year. Yes, this event is a fundraiser and yes, it helps MADD Nebraska be able to reach more people and support more victims, but no, that is not the biggest reason we walk. We walk because we are united, working together to inspire the world around us to change. We hope you will join us in carrying this inspiration throughout the year until we walk again.