The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recently issued a press release regarding the upcoming nationwide crackdown on drunk drivers. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s “Driver Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign isn’t just about the personal impact and dangers of drunk driving. This year, they’re also focusing on the societal economic impact of drunk drivers. With the holiday weekend just around the corner, the NHTSA wants party-goers to know that law enforcement officials across the country are going to be out in full force.
The Facts on Drunk Driving
- 10,000 people are killed in drunk driving crashes each year.
- On average, one person was killed every 51 minutes in a drunk driving crash in 2012.
- In 2012, 38 percent of all traffic fatalities over the Labor Day weekend involved drunk drivers.
- In 2012, 147 people were killed in crashes involving drunk drivers or motorcycle riders over the Labor Day weekend.
Societal Economic Costs of Drunk Driving
According to the NHTSA, drunk driving crashes cost $47 billion in direct economic impacts in 2010. On average, that’s $152 per person. When other damages like harm to society, loss of life and quality of life are factored in, the annual economic impacts were estimated at $195 billion.
Labor Day Weekend
As usual, holiday weekends typically mean an increase in fatal and injury-causing drunk driving crashes. A lot of people will have three-day weekends. Backyard barbeques and celebrations are expected. Whether you’re going out for a night on the town or to a neighborhood party, make sure you have a safe ride home. If you plan on drinking at all, line up a ride.
Pre-planning is the best way to ensure a safe ride home. Find a designated driver or pre-program a taxi service’s number into your phone for the end of the night. If you’re hosting a party, make sure you know how everybody’s getting home. When in doubt, take their keys, and call a cab.
After a Crash Involving a Drunk Driver
After a crash involving a drunk driver, it’s critical to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Drunk driving crashes are 100 percent preventable. Getting behind the wheel after drinking puts everybody on the roadway at risk. The NHTSA wants party goers to know that buzzed driving is drunk driving too. Even one drink can be one too many.