The Deadly Mix
Article by Wanda Kristensen, Director of Programs, MADD Canada and Photography by Gary MooreAs I write this, the holiday season is fast approaching, and I think of the thousands of families like ours that have lost loved ones to impaired driving or suffered serious injuries. Our 16-year-old son, Dave, was killed in an impaired driving crash one month before Christmas. A piece of us died that day as we consented to remove our precious son from life support. Holidays should be a time of joy and family celebration but for families across Canada like ours, there will always be sadness that we will never all be together again to celebrate and enjoy the event.
We take so much for granted but all that can change in an instant. When people choose to drink or use drugs and drive, they put themselves and innocent people at risk.
Every day in Canada, approximately 4 people are killed and another 192 injured due to impaired driving. Vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death of youth 15-19 and 40% of those are alcohol related. Impaired driving remains the #1 criminal cause of death in Canada. And yet, impaired driving is 100% preventable.
At MADD Canada we continue to work to stop impaired driving and to support victims of this violent crime. Canada’s roads need to be safe from impaired driving incidents. Everything from increased awareness, to supporting police efforts, to needed legislation is on our list for a comprehensive approach to fighting drinking and driving. Check out our website at www.madd.ca to see what you can do to make your community safer.
Don’t think this won’t happen to you or your family. It happens – and it affects innocent people. If you are drinking this holiday, give up your keys and please take a taxi or let a designated driver get you home. Let this be a time of making fond memories, not ones that will haunt you.
Wanda Kristensen, Director of Programs, MADD Canada
For more information please visitwww.madd.ca