The last official holiday of 2010, New Year’s Eve, will be celebrated in various ways.  Hopefully, everyone will still be intact on January 1, 2011!  We have focused on driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, texting and driving, and distracted driving, so much that you either agree with it or are tired of hearing about it.  But this is a very sobering subject, when you stop to think about the devastation of lives any of these activities have caused.

AT&T has released a powerful new documentary featuring stories of  individuals whose lives have been altered by texting and driving.  Their goal is to make texting and driving as socially unacceptable as drinking and driving.  Teenagers need to know that a text message is not worth a life.  The document will be distributed to schools, safety organizations and government agencies, and urges people to take a pledge on its Facebook page not to text and drive.  This message applies to adults, as well. 

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says one in 10 drivers have knowingly started their cars under the influence.  Alcohol not only impairs our ability to drive, but to balance, make good judgment, and have normal reflexes.  Walking under the influence is no laughing matter.  The journal Injury Prevention noted that New Year’s Day is more deadly to pedestrians than any other day of the year.  If a person has been partying and decides to walk home, don’t let them go alone.  They need to be escorted home by someone who is assumes the same responsibility as a designated driver. 

In Texas, the Texas Public Safety Commission approved a special driver enforcement program by the Texas Highway Patrol granting TxDOT funds to DPS to finance costs of added DPS trooper patrols, during the Christmas-New Year’s season.  The Oklahoma Department of Transportation is doing the same.  It is hoped that the addition of troopers will help support the theme, “Don’t Drive if you’re Tipsy, Buzzed, or Blitzen.”  Statistics from Texas during December, 2009, show there were 37,000 traffic crashes which injured 18,000 people and killed 240 more.  In all of 2009, there were 3,089 fatalities on Texas roads and 956 of those were the result of alcohol-related crashes.  This makes alcohol a factor in nearly one-third of all fatal crashes in Texas.  Oklahoma officials narrowed the time frame down for fatality wrecks to the period from December 24, through January 3, 2009.  During that time, there were 14 people that died in Oklahoma crashes.

Have a safe and Happy New Year’s Celebration and enjoy all that is offered for your entertainment, (with the exception of too many drinks!) There will be football, football, and more football!  Good luck to the TCU Horned Frogs, representing our state!  Good luck to all teams and let’s pray for injury-free games.

Thanks for being loyal readers of Blog4Safety, and to our Texas America Safety Company friends throughout the world, we wish you all a very Happy New Year, and a big Texas THANKS, Y’ALL!