The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) was one of five State Highway Safety Offices to receive a grant from GHSA and ride-hailing company Lyft to prevent impaired driving during the 2020 holiday season. TxDOT dedicated the entire grant towards Lyft credits and brought in external sponsors (the Harris County District Attorney’s Office and Silver Eagle Distributers Houston, LLC) to provide supplemental funding for the Lyft credits and digital marketing.
Texas consistently leads the United States in cases of impaired driving, crashes and fatalities. In 2018, Texas had 1,439 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities, with the highest concentration in Harris County at 171. Due to this high number, Texas is investing in many different initiatives to bring these numbers down.
One of these initiatives was to understand the driver’s obstacles in taking a sober ride home after drinking. Research showed that cost was a considerable deterrent for drivers to take the safe option. Costs included transportation to their home, transportation back to their car and the potential cost of a parking ticket or retrieving their car from a tow company. To combat this, TxDOT provided discount codes for Lyft to entice drivers to make the decision to leave their vehicle at home when going to drink or at least help them make the safe decision when leaving the bar.
TxDOT had two campaign phases during the grant period: New Year’s Eve and Super Bowl weekend. Within these phases, TxDOT distributed nearly 1,000 ride credits and reduced DUI-alcohol fatalities to zero during both periods, with promotional support from local traffic safety partners.