Support Group Raises Awareness for PTSD Caused by 199 Ride Commercials

WEST SALEM, WIS — One local support group looks to shine a light on post traumatic stress disorder caused by incessant annoying radio commercials.

199 Ride Survivors was formed in 2019 by West Salem residents Jerry and Linda Hooversniffer after noticing they and some of their friends were finding it emotionally taxing to turn on or even look at their car’s radio.

“I knew [199 Ride La Crosse] had closed permanently in my brain,” Linda said. “But in my heart, I was still afraid to turn Z93 on again.”

“One time I tried to just buck up and enjoy some tunes again,” Jerry said. “I ended up having a full-blown panic attack and had to pull over.”

The Hooversniffers were not alone. One study suggests that there are over 40,000 people in the La Crosse area suffering from 199 Ride-induced PTSD. Now they invite those affected to weekly meetings in their church’s basement.

“We try to carpool – no radio, obviously,” Jerry said.

Through talking about their experiences, those who attend say they’ve been able to make a lot of progress.

“It’s incredible,” one person said. “I finally feel like I am not alone.”

The Hooversniffers encourage any to attend their meetings every Friday night at West Salem Baptist Church beginning at 7:30 PM. They also encourage understanding, should one suspect a loved one is suffering with 199 Ride-induced PTSD.

“Try not to yell, or rhyme, or speak in three words phrases,” Linda said. “Also, under no circumstances should you ever yell, ‘WOOO!’ at the end of your sentences.”

Reporter Sam Shilts contributed to this article.