National Week Without Driving is an annual challenge by Disability Rights Washington (DRW). For 2023, they’re taking it national for the first time. It runs through October 2-8.
If you can drive or afford a car, you may not understand what it’s like to rely on walking, rolling, transit and asking for rides. But for nearly a third of people living in the United States – people with disabilities, young people, seniors and people who can’t afford cars or gas – this is our every day. We created the Week Without Driving challenge so that policy makers, elected leaders and transportation professionals can begin to understand the barriers nondrivers experience in accessing our communities.
As an individual, you can participate by not driving yourself by car for the week and taking note of how it affects your daily life. If someone drives you or you use a taxi, consider the monetary and personal cost, and think about how that would be sustainable.
DRW notes that, although this challenge is organized with the purpose of promoting disability rights, it is not a disability simulation or a contest to see who has the best driving alternatives. The point is to make yourself aware of the choices that a non-driver must cope with in your community.
And they don’t say this explicitly, but I presume that simply bike commuting would not be in the spirit of the challenge either, for those of us who do that regularly already.