A Guide to MADD Sites
“In 2001, more than half a million people were injured in crashes where police reported that alcohol was present — an average of one person injured approximately every 2 minutes” (Blincoe qtd. in MADD main). “In 2002, an estimated 17,419 people died in alcohol–related traffic crashes—an average of one every 30 minutes. These deaths constitute 41 percent of the 42,815 total traffic fatalities [in America]” (NHTSA qtd. in MADD main). From these statistics, it is clear to see that drunk driving is a serious issue that harms thousands of innocent American citizens. Although there are many organizations that address the issue of drinking and driving, MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, is the most successful, as a group of citizens, in fulfilling their mission.
It is ironic that the MADD organization was founded because of one person’s anger. Reports show that in 1979, Cindi Lamb and her five and a half old month daughter, Laura, were in a car accident involving a drunk driver. Their car was hit head on by a repeat drunk driving offender who was traveling at 120 miles per hour. As a result, Laura became one of the world’s youngest quadriplegics. This event prompted Lamb to start a war against drunk driving in her home state of Maryland (Lord qtd. in MADD main).
On the west coast, less than a year later, 13-year-old Cari Lightner was killed by a drunk driver. According the article, the driver was released on bail for a hit-and-run drunk driving crash two days prior. In addition to this offense, the driver had two prior drunk driving convictions with a third offense for reckless accident. Despite all of these charges, he was still driving around with a valid California license (Lord qtd. in MADD main).
Lord continues her report to show that although on opposite sides of the country, the mothers of Lamb and Lightner united in 1981. The tragic bond they shared served as the foundation for their organization. Together they formed MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers. According to reports, through the donations of victims, citizens, friends and a $65,000 grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, MADD was an immediate success. “By the fall of 1982, more than 70 MADD chapters were operating, primarily initiated by victims searching for a way to bring some sense to the apparently meaningless deaths and injuries of their loved ones” (Lord qtd. in MADD main).
Today, MADD has more than 600 chapters in the United States and affiliates in Guam, Canada and Puerto Rico. Studies show that MADD is not an organization comprised of only mothers of victims. It has expanded to fathers, siblings and friends. Not all members are victims or have been affected by an alcohol related incident. In fact, some members are just citizens who care (MADD-Canada). MADD now stands for Mothers Against Drunk Driving to focus on the crime itself rather than just...