NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – New Year’s Eve is one of the top holidays for drinking and, unfortunately, driving. The holiday ranks high for drunk-driving crashes and fatalities.
A recent study by Cannon and Dunphy S.C. Attorneys show nearly a thousand people died in drunk driving crashes in the U.S. on New Year’s Eve and Day in a five-year period from 2013-2018.
Of 50 states, Kentucky and Tennessee ranked 11 and 12 for the most crashes during the New Year’s holiday.
It’s something very personal and very real to Phaedra Olsen, who was paralyzed from the waist down by a drunk driver at the age of 22.
She’s now the executive director for Tennessee Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
“We know that whenever it comes to alcohol sales, New Year’s Eve is one of the highest times,” Olsen told News 2, “We know that everyone is out celebrating and having a good time, but what we also know is that people are not being responsible. We need to make sure that you have that game plan, use a rideshare program like uber, have a taxi, have a designated driver — make sure it’s someone who hasn’t been drinking at all.”
Even if you have a designated driver, Olsen says distractions can also put you at risk if other drivers on the road have been drinking.
Pay attention to speed limits, stay off your phone, and wear your seat belt.