On average, one person is killed in a drunk-driving crash every 52 minutes. This totals to more than 10,000 lives lost each year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) uses the weeks surrounding labor day to encourage drivers to be responsible. Impaired driving is one of the deadliest and most often committed of crimes. Driver Sober or Get Pulled Over increases enforcement efforts using the high-visibility model. Join the campaign to spread the message about these preventable tragedies.
How does alcohol affect driving?
Drinking alcohol impairs thinking, reasoning, and muscle coordination, all of which are necessary for safe driving. Even having only one drink before driving can mean serious danger for you, your passengers, and the other drivers on the road. It is important to understand the severity of drinking and driving. See the table below to learn the specific effects that each blood alcohol level has on driving:
Blood Alcohol Concentration
Predictable Effects on Driving
Decline in visual functions, decline in ability to perform two tasks at the same time
Reduced coordination, reduced ability to track moving objects, difficulty steering, reduced response to emergency driving situations
Reduced concentration, short-term memory loss, lack of speed control, reduced information processing capability, impaired perception
Reduced ability to maintain lane position and brake appropriately
Substantial impairment in vehicle control, attention to driving task, and in necessary visual and auditory information processing
As a result of these effects, driving under the influence is illegal. Most states consider a blood alcohol concentration of .08 to be illegal when driving, but driving after consuming any amount of alcohol has serious risks.
Why is sobriety while driving important?
Drunk driving does not only have legal consequences, but it can also result in injuries and fatalities. Some shocking statistics read:
Every day, about 32 people in the United States die in drunk-driving crashes - that's one person every 45 minutes.
In 2016, 10,497 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for 28% of all traffic-related deaths in the United States.
The yearly cost of alcohol-related car crashes is more that $44 billion.
How can you help?
The first step in helping this cause is being a responsible driver. Some key safety tips include:
Never drink and drive
Do not let someone get behind the wheel if that person has been drinking
If you are hosting a gathering, make sure everyone has a sober ride home
Always wear your seatbelt
Call 911 if you see a drunk driver
The NHTSA also has a variety of resources that can be used to educate yourself and others on the dangerous of drunk-driving. See what materials you can learn from here.
Although this campaign spreads awareness during the weeks of August 17th through September 5th, drunk driving can lead to disastrous events all year long. Learn more at NHTSA.