Together We Can End Impaired Driving

The National Safety Council has joined forces with six other traffic safety health advocacy organizations in releasing a new video public service announcement to remind Americans that driving impaired — in any form — is dangerous and preventable.

“An impaired driver is a dangerous driver; we need to be focused on the ‘four D’s’ — drunk, drugged, distracted and drowsy,” said Dr. Mark Rosekind, administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Jonathan Adkins, executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association, added, “As the PSA says, ‘in a perfect world, impaired driving wouldn’t exist.’ All impairments are dangerous and preventable. I’m proud to join forces with these partners to remind the public that they hold the keys when it comes to making positive choices behind the wheel.”

NHTSA breaks down the data like this:

Drunk Driving

In 2014, 31% percent of traffic fatalities involved a drunk driver. Drunk driving fatalities have decreased 27% from 2005 to 2014 but the percentage of overall fatalities has remained flat.

Drugged Driving

23% of night-time drivers tested positive for illegal, prescription or over-the-counter medications (based on the combined results of oral fluid and blood tests or both).

Distracted Driving

In 2014, 3,179 people (10% of overall traffic fatalities) were killed in crashes involving distracted drivers.

Drowsy Driving

In 2014, nearly 3% of all traffic fatalities involved a drowsy driver, and at least 846 people were killed in crashes involving a drowsy driver.

A national survey commissioned by the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility found Americans identify distractions (texting, talking on phone, eating, etc.) and alcohol as the leading impairments to a driver’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle (87% and 83%).

Four out of five respondents (79%) believe drivers distracted by texting, talking or multi-tasking while driving pose the most danger on the roads, ahead of:

  • Drunk drivers (68%)
  • Drivers who fail to observe/obey traffic laws (speeding, red lights, etc.) (55%)
  • Drivers under the influence of drugs (53%)
  • Drowsy drivers (42%)
  • Teen/inexperienced drivers (33%)
  • Elderly drivers (24%)
  • Improperly maintained vehicles (21%)

NSC is working with the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, GHSA, National Sleep Foundation, Recording Artists, Actors and Athletes Against Drunk Driving (RADD), the Foundation for Advacing Alcohol Responsibility (Responsibility.org) and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) on the #EndImpairedDriving campaign.

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