2021’s holiday weekend resulted in the year’s highest number of alcohol-related fatal crashes and deaths
AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 4, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — As Texans celebrate the last holiday weekend of the summer, advocates are warning of dangerous consequences and point to last year’s data as cause for concern. Texans for Safe and Drug-Free Youth, the state’s leading advocacy coalition working at the intersection of public health and underage alcohol and substance use prevention, called on Texans across the state to have heightened caution during the Labor Day holiday.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, the Sunday of Labor Day weekend, September 5, marked deadliest due to alcohol-related crashes of the entire year. With ten fatal crashes and twelve deaths, the day’s data was far above the average of 2.79 crashes and 3.18 fatalities. In total over the holiday weekend (Friday – Monday) there were 25 alcohol-related crashes and 27 deaths.
“Last year’s Labor Day saw the tragic – and unnecessary – deaths of a dozen individuals,” said Nicole Holt, CEO of TxSDY. “This year, we’re sounding the alarm and urging everyone to take precautions for staying safe and healthy. The end of summer does not have to mean the end of more young lives as a result of alcohol-related crashes.”
Advocates noted simple actions that Texans – and parents in particular – can take to increase awareness and help empower youth to make smart decisions about alcohol. Specifically:
Have a Plan of Action – If they find themselves in a difficult situation, kids need to know exactly what to do – and that anyone who has been drinking shouldn’t be behind the wheel. By setting a plan of action ahead of time, they will be prepared and more confident in navigating challenges.
Know Modeling Matters – It’s incredibly important parents limit negative influences and behaviors around youth, even older teenagers. Very simple awareness can make a big difference in what our kids are aware of and later repeat in their own lives.
Minimize Access – Alcohol should not be kept where it can be accessed by anyone but responsible adults. When alcohol is kept in places where it is accessible, parents should make clear that it is off-limits to youth.
More information about Texas youth and drinking can be found at https://txsdy.org/our-cause-alcohol/ and tips on helping parents speak to kids about alcohol and its risks can be found at https://txsdy.org/talking-with-youth/.
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SOURCE Texans for Safe and Drug-Free Youth