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Silence Doesn’t Save Lives
In May 2013, Evan and her fiancé attended a friend’s wedding. It was a time of joyful celebration, and everyone was having a wonderful time dancing, laughing, and drinking champagne. When Evan and her fiancé decided to leave, it was obvious that they had had a little too much to drink. However, nobody stopped them from getting in their car and driving away. The bride later said that she had thought about saying something—but she didn’t act on it. If she would have, maybe Evan would still be alive today…
Because nobody stopped them from leaving the wedding intoxicated, Evan’s fiancé crashed their car into a pole, killing her and injuring himself.
Drunk, drugged, and distracted driving (the 3 D’s) kill thousands of people each year. While awareness, education, and legislation help to address this epidemic, there is a more effective and even simpler solution:
“My daughter was killed in a single vehicle crash caused by her father who had a .22 BAC and he was loaded with marijuana. I was working two jobs at the time and I went to my second job. I actually talked to him on the phone and begged him not to take Cydnye with him, but he didn't listen. I feel so guilty, I should have done something more, threatened to call the police or something. Why didn’t I?”- Karen E. Ring
“I have lost a friend this week. We met in college, and both had two beautiful daughters that went to preschool together. She died in a crash and I found out because her daughter (14) posted on Facebook. Three days after the news of her untimely death I found out she was the passenger of a vehicle that was being driven by her drunken boyfriend. He was driving the wrong way on a one way street. He was going to hit another vehicle head on but swerved so impact was on the passenger side which killed her instantly. Why didn’t she stop him from driving or find another way home.”- Nicole Ramos
It’s Up To Us
Drunk, drugged, and distracted drivers account for more than half of all passenger vehicle fatalities. Over a third of the time, such drivers carry passengers who could have potentially stopped them but didn’t. Not to mention the countless bystanders who see these drivers about to engage in potentially deadly behavior and don’t say a word. People have no problem speaking up when someone lights up a cigarette in a restaurant, but when it comes to the 3 D’s, we remain silent all too often.
The tragic consequences of the 3 D’s affect all of us, and it is up to all of us to make a change. Unfortunately, there exists the commonly misguided notion that someone else will do the right thing, that someone else will speak up, that someone else will have the Courage To Intervene:
We see a friend who’s had too much to drink at a party walking to their car and we don’t stop them.
We watch as a family member picks up a phone call behind the wheel.
We let a friend leave our house to drive to the store after smoking some marijuana because it’s just down the street.
These things happen countless times every single day, and they frequently end with arrests, shame, humiliation, huge fines, and other troubles that could have been prevented. Sometimes they even end with injury and death. Whatever the outcome, people are usually left wishing that they had done something more.
If only I had stopped that friend from driving drunk.
If only I had said something when the driver picked up that phone call.
If only I told my friend to keep their marijuana use at home.
If only I had had the Courage To Intervene.
Stand Up, Speak Up, Save Lives
The Courage To Intervene promotes standing up and speaking up to stop drunk, drugged, and distracted driving. The goal is to promote safe driving practices and prevent unsafe ones when we see them, with the underlying belief that every single one of us can make a difference by being vigilant, valiant, and vocal.
Sometimes speaking up isn’t easy. Oftentimes it can be downright scary. But the reality is that by speaking up, we show that we care about the lives of our friends, family members, and even strangers. By standing up, we save lives.
One courageous voice can stop one deadly choice. Have the Courage To Intervene.