NEW YORK, January 19, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — We save livesa non-profit group organized by the founder of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Candace Lightnerteams up with the National Road Safety Foundation to declare the last week of January (January 23 – 29, 2022) as the first-ever National Passenger Safety Week. The aim of this multi-year campaign is to empower passengers to “speak up for their safety” when they find themselves in a dangerously driven car. In 2019, passengers accounted for 62% of all road fatalities nationwide.

“Whether a driver is impaired by alcohol or drugs, speeding or driving too aggressively, or unable to stay awake behind the wheel, poor driving choices expose passengers to risk of serious injury or death,” said Candace Lightner, who has been a leading road safety advocate since MADD was founded in 1980 after losing her 13-year-old daughter Cari to a repeat drunk driver. “Passengers need to speak up when they see unsafe driving behavior,” she said. “We hope this ongoing campaign will empower passengers to be safety advocates, to the point where it becomes acceptable – even expected – for passengers to speak up when confronted with an irresponsible driver.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 38,680 people died in traffic crashes in 2020. “Many of those lives could have been saved if a passenger in the car had insisted that the driver slow down, stop texting, or not get behind the wheel in the first place,” Lightner noted.

“A big part of driving safety comes from education,” said michelle andersondirector of operations at The National Road Safety Foundation, a non-profit organization founded 60 years ago to promote safe driving behavior through education. “When people are made aware of driving risks such as impaired driving, speeding, aggression and drowsiness, there’s a better chance they’ll avoid taking those risks in the car as they go.”

“If only” becomes a common theme when speaking to families of crash victims and survivors. Michael Johnson whose son Connor was killed as a passenger in a single-vehicle crash with a distracted driver, encourages parents to educate their children about the importance of talking or not getting in the car with someone who is drunk, drugged, or distracted. “If only Connor had stopped his friend from distracted driving, they would both be alive today.”

Plans for the current campaign include creating and distributing materials on how to speak up, with scripts and videos giving role-play examples of when and how to speak up. People will also be encouraged to sign the “Courage to intervene” to promise. The campaign will be supported by public service announcements and seasonal press releases, as well as ongoing appearances in local and national media. More than three dozen road safety advocacy groups, state and national agencies have joined the campaign, and more are joining us in spreading the word to their constituents.

We save livesfounded by in 2014 by Candace Lightnerwhich launched Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), is an umbrella organization of more than 50 road safety advocates, law enforcement agencies, businesses, local, state, national and international organizations, victims/survivors and others who want to stop the carnage on our roads.

The National Road Safety Foundation, now in her 60sand year, produces free videos and educational materials on distracted driving, speeding and aggression, impaired driving, drowsy driving, driver competence, pedestrian safety and a host of other safety issues . It also sponsors contests to inspire teens to promote safe driving among their peers and in their communities, partnering nationally with youth advocacy groups including SADD and FCCLA, and internationally. regional scale with auto shows in Los Angeles, Chicago and washington d.c.

Contact: David Reich

914 325-9997

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SOURCE We save lives

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