MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) began almost thirty years ago by a grieving mother, whose daughter was killed by a repeat offender drunk driver. She made a pledge to fight against drunk driving, and although MADD started with just a few members, it’s now a non-profit organization (in both the US & Canada) that had paved the way for other organizations such as SADD (Students Against Drunk Driving).
According to the MADD website- “The mission of Mothers Against Drunk Driving is to stop drunk driving, support the victims of this violent crime, and prevent underage drinking.” To date MADD’s work has saved nearly 300,000 lives, and counting. They focus on education (teaching and raising awareness about the dangers of drunk driving), advocacy (many traffic safety and victims’ rights legislation has been passed as a result of MADD), and victim’s assistance (for those who’ve lost someone due to drunk driving).
MADD: Drinking and Driving Statistics
- This year, 10,839 people will die in drunk-driving crashes – one every 50 minutes.
- Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens and one out of three of those is alcohol related.
- Kids who start drinking young are seven times more likely to be in an alcohol-related crash. You can find out more statistics on their website (in the statistics page).
It’s obvious that through education and prevention MADD continues to work to change those statistics. In fact MADD held the first annual PowerTalk 21 day April 21, the national day for parents to talk with their kids about alcohol. MADD started this important national day because: “Research has shown that parents are the number one influence in their child’s decisions about drinking, so MADD is eager to get the conversation about alcohol started in households across the country — particularly in advance of prom and graduation season,” said MADD National President Laura Dean-Mooney. You can visit the MADD website (http://www.madd.org/) and click on the PowerTalk 21 to find out more information (including requesting a free handbook).
MADD uses all forms of media to reach kids. For example, they worked with Dallas Cowboys Jason Witten who will be featured in an episode of the popular “Archie” Comics talking about the dangers of underage drinking. “The whole idea here is prevention. To prevent kids from drinking,” Victor Gorelick, president and editor-in-chief of Archie Comics, told The Associated Press. “But a lot of parents know that this can be a big problem with teenagers, yet they have problems talking to their kids.”
MADD has an informative and interactive website. You can follow the links to connect to MADD through Facebook & Twitter. You can also sign up for their newsletter, find out how to volunteer, or make a donation. MADD has local chapters throughout every state and they work hard to increase safety on our roads.
Hat’s off to an organization where the first priority is safety for us all!