MADD and Nationwide Announce New Survey Results Showing Rise In The Use of Designated Drivers

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Growing number of respondents associate the term “designated driver” with ridesharing services such as Uber

Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD), together with Nationwide, the National Presenting Sponsor of Tie One On For Safety®, today announced results of a new online survey which shows the growth of designated drivers throughout MADD’s 35-year history. The survey also highlights how the concept of designated drivers has evolved with the addition of app-based rideshare services such as Uber.

Seventy-five percent of respondents in the new MADD-Nationwide online survey say they have been a designated driver in the past year, showing significant growth from 1989, when 35 percent of Roper survey participants reported being a designated driver. The new survey also reveals that 71 percent of respondents have used a designated driver in the past 12 months, an increase of nearly 10 percent from 2013, when 63 percent of adults surveyed in a MADD public opinion survey said a designated driver had driven them home.

“People who serve as and select a non-drinking designated driver are saving lives and making our streets safer. With the many options at our fingertips today, such as rideshare services like Uber, there is no reason for anyone to drink and drive.” said MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church, whose son Dustin was killed by an underage drunk and drugged driver.

The 2015 online survey also surveyed respondents on their attitudes towards using rideshare services as a designated driver. Just a few years after these services launched, 23 percent of respondents already associate the term “designated driver” with ridesharing. The results also showed that 31 percent of respondents under the age of 30 reported using a rideshare service to get home after drinking.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve in 2014, there were 945 drunk driving deaths across the country.

As part of an ongoing effort to urge partygoers to designate a non-drinking driver and plan ahead for a safe ride home, Uber and MADD are teaming up to make it easy for party hosts to purchase Uber rides for their guests. Starting today through January 1, Uber will donate $10 to MADD for every Uber ride purchased through UberEVENTS+MADD. UberEVENTS is the self-service solution that lets party hosts purchase Uber rides for their guests.

“We know that when people have access to more affordable, reliable transportation options they overwhelmingly make the smart choice not to drink and drive. Whether it’s a company holiday party or a family dinner, the great thing about a service like Uber is that a safe ride home is just the push of a button away. Having this option available right at your fingertips is particularly important during the holiday season, when drunk driving incidents spike,” said David Plouffe, Uber Senior Advisor.

MADD is credited with introducing the term “designated driver” in 1986 and popularizing it to become a household term. The new MADD-Nationwide online survey was conducted as part of MADD’s Tie One On For Safety campaign. As MADD’s longest-running public awareness campaign, Tie One On For Safety asks adults to display a red ribbon on their vehicles to remind others to plan ahead and designate a non-drinking driver before holiday celebrations begin.

“For the fourth year, Nationwide is honored to support MADD in the effort to end drunk driving during the holiday season. We’re encouraged to learn that more people are choosing to serve as or use a designated driver to get home safely,” said Bill Windsor, Nationwide Associate Vice President of Consumer Safety and MADD National Board Chair. “In Tie One On For Safety’s 29th year, we continue to urge drivers to display a red ribbon on their vehicles as a reminder to not drink and drive during the holidays, and year-round.”

MADD’s Tie One On For Safety red ribbons and decals are available at, and at select Nationwide agent locations across the country. For safe party tips, visit

About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is celebrating its 35th anniversary by creating a future of NO MORE VICTIMSTM. MADD is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these crimes and prevent underage drinking. MADD supports drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge, serving one person every fifteen minutes through local MADD victim advocates and at 1-877-MADD-HELP. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® will end drunk driving through increased law enforcement, all offender ignition interlock laws and advanced vehicle technology. PowerTalk 21® is the national day for parents to talk with their teens about alcohol, using Power of Parents®’ proven approach to reduce underage drinking. Learn more by visiting MADD’s new website at or calling 1-877-ASK-MADD.

About Nationwide
Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S. and is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. The company provides a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto, commercial, homeowners, farm and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities and mutual funds; banking and mortgages; pet, motorcycle and boat insurance. For more information, visit

Nationwide, the Nationwide mark, and On Your Side are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.

About Uber
Uber is a technology platform that is revolutionizing the way people connect with their cities around the world – and creating tremendous economic opportunity for transportation providers. By connecting users with a safe, reliable and seamless ride, and with unprecedented accountability and transparency built into the system, Uber has transformed the way users think about their transportation options.

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Heather Wedel
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