You may be familiar with Black Friday, but have you ever heard of Blackout Wednesday?
Thanksgiving Eve through to the early morning hours of Thanksgiving Day is one of the most dangerous times of the year to be on the road. According to historical data from the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), Blackout Wednesday (as some may refer to it) comes in third behind only New Year’s Day and Independence Day in terms of drunk drivers and deadly crashes involving alcohol. During the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, from 2015-2019, nearly 800 people died in crashes involving a drunk driver and 135 drivers involved in fatal crashes on Thanksgiving Eve were drunk.
The Blackout Wednesday trend, likely spurred on by a rush of college students and young adults returning home for the holidays and meeting up with old friends with no obligations the following day, means added police presence on the roadways, possible DUI/DWI checkpoints, and increased citations for DUI/DWI. While it may be tempting to go out and have a good time, the best course of action would be to stay home – arrange to have friends and family come over and stay rather than meet up at a bar or restaurant. If you do go out, make sure you have a designated driver and a backup plan for getting home safely, and always, always wear your seatbelt.
If you’re planning on going out Wednesday evening, take action now to avoid a possible DUI/DWI.
For those who are local, Drive Safe Hampton Roads (DSHR) is sponsoring 757 Sober Ride from 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 23 until 4 a.m. on Nov. 24. During this period, residents 21 and older who have been drinking can enter the 757 Sober Ride code in the Lyft app’s payment tab to receive a free or reduced fare ride (up to $15) home. The free ride code will be published on DHSR’s website at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 23 and can only be used during the allotted period.