Road to Zero Safety Priority Statement
Since the 1980s, many changes have resulted in reducing alcohol-impaired fatalities. The drinking age was increased to 21 nationwide, all states established a 0.08% BAC requirement, and organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) brought national attention to the staggering death toll on the roadways. Public education campaigns, new laws and strong enforcement were effective in reducing alcohol-impaired driving deaths, though they still remain a pressing traffic safety issue today. On average, over the 10-year period from 2006-2016, more than 10,000 people died every year in alcohol-impaired driving crashes. However, the number of alcohol-related crash deaths has plateaued, and the persisting rate of fatalities is unacceptable. A 2017 study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that an estimated 14% of drivers had driven with a BAC either close to or over the legal limit of 0.08% in the past year.
To view the full Alcohol-Impaired Driving Priority Statement, click here.
In 2016 alone, there were 10,497 fatalities from alcohol-impaired driving in the U.S, representing 28% of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities.There are approximately 29 alcohol-impaired driving deaths each day – one every 50 minutes. Of those fatalities, 214 were children 14-years-old and younger, 17% of all fatalities in that age group. According to NHTSA, while alcohol-impaired driving fatalities have fallen from 50% of fatalities to approximately 30% of US roadway fatalities in the last 30 years, the preventable deaths and injuries that result from alcohol-impaired driving continue to cost society an estimated $44 billion annually.
There are many strategies that have been proven effective for preventing and reducing alcoholimpaired driving. Strategies that work have included: mandatory ignition interlock devices for first-time convicted offenders, license revocation or suspension for offenders, sobriety checkpoints, lowering the BAC requirement, and mass media campaigns in support of enforcement, such as “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.” While these strategies have lowered the incidence of alcohol-impaired driving drastically since the 1980s, progress has stalled over the past decades. It is time to double down on those strategies that have been proven to work and consider new approaches in order to significantly reduce and eventually put an end alcohol-impaired driving.
Supporters of Road to Zero Coalition Priority Statement on Alcohol-Impaired:
- AAA, aaa.org
- Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, saferoads.org
- American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, aamva.org
- American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, transportation.org
- Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, cvsa.org
- Global Automakers, globalautomakers.org
- Governors Highway Safety Association, ghsa.org
- Institute of Transportation Engineers, ite.org
- Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, iihs.org
- Intelligent Car Coalition, intelligentcarcoalition.org
- International Association of Chiefs of Police,theiacp.org
- MADD, madd.org
- National Association of City Transportation Officials, nacto.org
- National Association of County Engineers, naco.org
- National Association of State Emergency Medical Service Officials, nasemso.org
- National Safety Council, nsc.org
- Vision Zero Network, visionzeronetwork.org
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