Weekend DUI Down, Drunk Driving Fatalities Up

It’s a new year, and drunk driving accidents are still a top concern of safety officials. In 2013, we witnessed drunk driving fatalities increase for the first time in the last six years.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is continuing efforts to bring down the number of drunk driving deaths. In doing so, officials are continuing to urge states to enact new legislation to mandate ignition interlocks for those who have been convicted of drunk driving. They’re also working to support the technologies that will eliminate drunk driving in the long-term. Another focus is to educate the public and to raise awareness about the risks associated with drunk driving while urging more residents to get involved with preventative measures and campaign efforts.

Our drunk driving injury lawyers in Boston know these drunk driving accidents are most likely to happen on Friday and Saturday nights. That’s when most residents are out celebrating their weekends and enjoying time with friends and family. Although officials with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) report that weekend drunk driving has declined, the overall number of alcohol-related traffic accident fatalities has not enjoyed the same reduction.

“The number of people who still die in alcohol-related crashes remains alarmingly high. In 2012, 10,322 people died in crashes involving drivers with illegal BACs,” says Anne McCartt, IIHS senior vice president for research and the study’s lead author.

When researchers controlled for belt use, they found that lack of belt use helped account for the discrepancy in trends between 1986 and 1996 but did not help between 1996 and 2007. They calculated that the more than 20 percent decline in impaired drivers on the road during 1986 to 1996 should have produced a more than 5 percent decline in impaired drivers in fatal accidents, and that is what they observed. On the other hand, the close to 40 percent decline in impaired drivers on the road during 1996 to 2007 should have reduced the number of impaired drivers in fatal crashes by nearly 25 percent after accounting for belt use. The observed decline, however, was only 5 percent.

Although a seat belt is your best defense against injury or death in the event of an accident, staying sober behind the wheel can further increase your risks of avoiding injury.

With the New Year upon us, we’re asking drivers to renew their vow to stay safe and sober at the wheel.According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were more than 32,800 people who were killed in traffic crashes in 2010 in the United States, including an estimated 10,230 people who died in drunk driving crashes, accounting for more than 30 percent of all traffic deaths that year.

If you or a loved one was involved in a drunk driving accident in Massachusetts, call Jeffrey Glassman Injury Lawyers for a free and confidential appointment — (617) 777-7777.

More Blog Entries:

MADD Praises DADSS Research to Fight Drunk Driving Accidents, Boston Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Blog,January 8, 2014

Officer Accused of Drunk Driving with Child in Vehicle, Boston Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Blog, January 5, 2014

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