“Men’s courses will foreshadow certain ends, to which, if persevered in, they must lead. But if the courses be departed from, the ends will change.”
- Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
Choices are like dominos. When you make one decision, it triggers the reaction for other situations to occur. Taking certain paths can affect your finances, your relationships, your friendships and your career. Drunk driving is one such choice that continues to affect countless lives. Every day, drunk drivers get behind the wheel when they know they should not.
Here are some sobering facts: In 2015 there were 10,265 people killed in drunk driving crashes. That averages one death every 51 minutes. Among those killed, 37 percent (3,841) were not the drunk driver. Among those crashes, 67 percent involved a driver nearly twice the legal limit of .08 BAC.
NHTSA has worked with many partners, including MADD, to collectively bring alcohol-impaired driving fatalities down, but it’s not enough. We need to reach drivers on a new level, which is why we’re pulling out all of the stops as part of this year’s Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.
Today, I offer you a simple glimpse into a possible, tragic future you can choose to prevent through Last Call 360. Using virtual technology, NHTSA created a bar scene through an interactive 360º video website that uses photospheres, cinema graphs, videos, and gaming. You can access it for free from your mobile phone, computer or tablet.
During your visit, you’ll be able to interact with virtual bar patrons, play games, watch videos, order virtual alcoholic drinks and, most importantly, see the consequences of drinking and driving. You might recognize the bartender, it’s YouTube personality, Matthew Patrick (MatPat)
Once you make the decision to ‘move on’ from the virtual bar and get behind the wheel after having consumed alcoholic drinks, you’ll see the flashing lights of law enforcement. Based on your IP address, the experience culminates by revealing the state-level consequences of driving impaired.
This experience provides the chance to see that your decisions have far-reaching consequences beyond you—affecting many others in your life as well. My hope is that this glimpse into your imaginable future will open your eyes in the present and show you that one person (the decisions you make) can make a difference.
Remember, drunk driving crashes are no accident - they are 100-percent preventable and connect back to our choices and errors. NHTSA’s gift to you this holiday season is perspective - a chance to change the future by taking action today.
Please share this experience. Learn from this experience. In the words of Charles Dickens, “No space of regret can make amends for one life’s opportunity misused.” There’s no excuse. Put the keys away and grab a sober friend, call a taxi, take public transportation home or use our SaferRide app. Law enforcement will be out nationwide this holiday season, pulling over drunk drivers to protect the public.
Happy Holidays from our NHTSA family to yours.