During Spring Break 2016,* there were 458 crashes in Texas involving young drivers** under the influence of alcohol. Those crashes led to 15 fatalities and 33 serious injuries.
U in the Driver Seat (UDS), a not for profit program focusing on the prevention of young adult motor vehicle crashes, conducted multiple outreach events on college campuses prior to the momentous school holiday – Spring Break. All year long UDS helps students learn about the risks they face behind the wheel and empowers them to educate one another about the dangers of driving, which often includes driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Prior to spring break, UDS schools including; Ranger College, TAMU-Kingsville, TAMU-Corpus Christi, UT San Antonio, and UT-Arlington participated in on-campus health safety events raising awareness about alcohol and impaired driving.
Also prior to spring break, UDS staff traveled across Texas participating multiple outreach events on university campuses and community colleges. Students had the opportunity to try DWI driving simulators, receive safety lessons, and participate in other interactive activities that help retain the safe driving message.
The week of Spring Break 2017 for most Texas colleges fell on March 13-17. UDS staff traveled to South Padre Island that same week to the reach young adults who flock to the coast for some fun in the sun. The Rio Grande Valley Traffic Safety Coalition held their annual Spring Break Safety Event beach side, and as a member of the coalition, U in the Driver Seat supported the efforts to educate young adults about the dangers of drinking and driving.
In 2015, Texas saw a higher total number of car crash fatalities for 18-24 year olds than 13-17 year olds; 651 college aged fatalities versus 114 jr. high/high school aged fatalities. UDS is charged with reaching the college aged group, especially during Spring Break, a time with a heightened mix of young drivers on the roads making poor driving choices.
For more highlights on outreach efforts during Spring Break 2017, visit our Facebook page.
*(5 p.m., March 11, 2016 – 11:59 p.m., March 20, 2016)
** (17-34 years of age)