Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Impaired Driving - Still Barking up the Wrong Tree

August 14, 2009 / 58(31);856

Notice to Readers: National Labor Day Drunk Driving Enforcement Crackdown --- August 21--September 7, 2009

In 2007, a total of 12,998 persons died in motor-vehicle crashes in which at least one driver had a blood alcohol concentration of >0.08 g/dL, above the legal limit for drivers in the United States. These alcohol-impaired--driving fatalities accounted for 32% of all motor-vehicle traffic fatalities in 2007 (1).

BrooklynDodger(s) comment: It's easy to blame the toll of vehicle related injuries on the guilty victims, emphasizing drunk or substance abused driving. Drinking and driving is confounded by not wearing seat belts, driving late at night on the weekend, probably speeding, (and being a male under 25, but that's really hard to intervene on) all of which add to the 32% fraction of traffic fatalities attributed solely to drinking. NHTSA needs to think more about intervening on the causes of risk behavior and intervening on that. What about a drowsy driving enforcement day, or promulgating a warning on driving consistent with the recommendations for truck drivers (which aren't protective enough)?

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