Drinking and Driving: Covid-19 Is Taking A Toll with Healther Geronemus

Heather Geronemus has turned her most devastating life experience into an opportunity to spread awareness of the impact of impaired driving. By day, Heather works as the Director of Corporate Affairs at UKG, Ultimate Kronos Group, and spends her free-time volunteering with many charitable organizations. One closest to her heart is Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), where she is currently the Chair on the National Board of Directors. This month, National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, we welcome Heather to Lift U Up: Inspiring Health Stories to share her personal experience as a victim of drunk driving and the work she does today to spread awareness.

She’s also breaking down how Covid-19 and “staying at home guidelines” are impacting impaired driving. Don’t miss her message this holiday season.

Heather described the death of her father as the beginning of the most terrible time of her life. His life was taken by a drunk driver, and ever since, her life has never been the same. Heather shares what it was like as a victim and the type of support she didn’t know she needed, until she got connected to MADD. After a few missed calls from a victim advocate and the feeling that she couldn’t handle her grief on her own, she finally saw the benefit MADD offered to loved ones who have lost someone to drinking and driving.

Heather points out that MADD and their victim advocates help so many people with no expectation of anything in return. Her personal experiences with them led Heather to getting more involved with the organization. Her work over the years includes establishing their Annual Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash Fort Lauderdale event (soon celebrating 10 years!) to raise awareness in their community and continue the conversation of the dangers of drinking and driving.

Heather and MADD continue to do their work, whether in person or virtually, to reach as many people as they can on this issue. Anyone can be impacted by impaired driving at any time, so it is important to take the steps now to protect the ones you love.

Here are some of the facts you should know:

  • Drunk driving deaths account for about ⅓ of traffic deaths every year.
  • Drunk driving is the #1 killer on our roadways.
  • Drunk driving accounts for 10,000+ deaths per year.
  • The holiday season begins the deadliest time of year on our roadways.

How does Covid-19 play a role? Heather says impaired driving is not declining because of Covid or smaller gatherings.

“The combination of isolation, depression, and increased drinking is very real and people are still getting in their car at some point,” says Heather. The National Highway Transportation Safety Authority is anticipating the same number of deaths or worse in 2020. Planning ahead and making smarter decisions is crucial, otherwise we’ll see another 1,000+ deaths this holiday season.

During a time where we are losing so many to Covid-19, let’s make smarter decisions and take action to prevent deaths and injuries.

What else can you expect in this episode?

  • Heather’s personal experience and getting connected to MADD.
  • How impaired driving does not just mean drinking, and the myths that surround that.
  • Why awareness is so important to this cause.
  • How people get away with drunk driving, and why they do it.
  • Heathers’ personal health tips to anyone looking to feel better.
Drinking Driving COVID

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