Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and Uber recently announced a joint effort to combat drunk driving on Thanksgiving Eve by offering free rides across Long Island. Thanksgiving Eve, which has also been called “Blackout Wednesday,” is one of the busiest drinking nights of the year and the beginning of the holiday season, when there is an increase in instances of impaired driving.
“I applaud and am grateful for the joint effort by Mothers Against Drunk Driving and Uber to keep our residents safe by offering free rides on the evening before Thanksgiving,” said Nassau County Executive-elect Laura Curran. “Drunk driving kills too many in our communities and this important initiative will save lives.”
All Long Island residents and visitors can enter the promo code “SAFERIDELI” into the Uber app by navigating to the menu, tapping “Payment,” and then “Add Promo/Gift Code.” This will unlock two free rides up to $15 per ride that start and end on Long Island on Thanksgiving Eve. The free rides are available between 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 22, and 3 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 23.
Suffolk and Nassau counties both have some of the most alcohol-related crashes across the state’s 62 counties, according to data released in 2015.
According to Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research data, there were more than 5,000 arrests for impaired driving in Nassau County and more than 4,600 arrests for impaired driving in Suffolk County in 2016. In that same year, there were 394 alcohol-related crashes with injuries and 35 alcohol-related crashes with fatalities in Suffolk County. There were 313 alcohol-related crashes with injuries and 22 alcohol-related crashes with fatalities in Nassau County.
An independent study conducted by Temple University found that Uber’s entrance into various cities in California resulted in a 5 percent decrease in the number of people killed in alcohol-related car crashes. Uber also surveyed its U.S. rider base, and respondents reported taht Uber has helped them make safe decisions to get home.
Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas also gave thanks to MADD and Uber for the safety initiative.
“Every time a driver decides to get behind the wheel drunk they are making a conscious decision to risk the lives of every person on the road around them,” said Singas. “Drunk and drugged driving is an epidemic on Long Island and this initiative by Uber and MADD will help make our streets safer this holiday season.”
MADD executive director Richard Mallow commended Uber for joining in this effort.
“The holiday season is a special time for joy and togetherness, but it’s also the one of the most dangerous times of the year on the road because of the increased frequency of drunk driving,” said Mallow. “By providing a reliable ride at the push of a button — no matter the time or place — Uber is helping people make better, safer choices.”
Uber’s general manager for the tristate region, Sarfraz Maredia said it was an easy decision to help driver make the safter choice this holiday season.
“When empowered with access to more transportation options through Uber, people are making responsible choices that result in fewer alcohol-related crashes,” said Maredia. “By continuing to work with local leaders and MADD, we can help make Long Island streets safer. We hope that Long Island residents decide to leave their cars at home on Wednesday and use options like Uber to get around.”