Letters to the Editor


Regarding Thanksgiving, to paraphrase another holiday song: It’s (one of) the most dangerous times of the year… due to impaired driving accidents.

That’s no surprise when you think about it as the holidays end with Blackout Wednesday, one of the biggest drinking and party nights of the year (hardly anyone has a job or school the next day). ) and Black Friday. The combination of a four-day weekend, the holiday season, the biggest retail day of the year, and lots of people on the road can be a deadly combination.

Forecasts predict that Washington state will see travel volumes above pre-pandemic levels as Thanksgiving travel is expected to increase according to AAA. And the National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that about 500 people could die on American roads during that time. If this estimate is true, Thanksgiving 2021 will see the most deaths since 2007.

The good news is that progress has been made in reducing alcohol-impaired crashes. In 1982, 48% of all road fatalities involved collisions while impaired by alcohol. This represents 28% of deaths in 2019.

We all want to celebrate over the holidays and enjoy the time with family and friends. Do what you can to make sure you and everyone at your Thanksgiving table are there to celebrate the New Year as well.

Here is a safe and happy Thanksgiving everyone.

JoAnn Hellmann


Island County Impaired Driving Impact Panel



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