According to NHTSA, drunk driving claimed the lives of 10,839 people in 2009, approximately a third of all fatalities on our nation’s roadways that year. In fact, 87% of people surveyed feel that drunk driving is a very serious threat to their personal safety (page 7)—second only to distracted driving—and 98% say they personally consider driving while intoxicated an unacceptable act. As law enforcement gears up for their annual crackdown with a new campaign, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, it is clear that impaired driving remains a critical safety issue despite public perceptions.
Changing this potentially deadly behavior is a long-term effort. Success truly hinges on drivers making the right decision at the end of the night to find a safe and sober way home. Combining highly visible enforcement with strong public education equals a recipe for success when combating such challenging safety culture issues as drunk driving, seat belt use and most recently distracted driving. Recognizing that laws are most effective if there’s a strong belief that they’ll be enforced, this national effort will be cracking down on impaired drivers.
Respect the law, respect other drivers and respect yourself enough to remove drugs and alcohol from your driving equation. A single bad decision, like getting behind the wheel after a few drinks, may get you caught, killed or kill someone else.