The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released new data on traffic accident trends in the United States in 2011. According to that data, several areas of traffic safety showed significant improvement in 2011, including statistics surrounding drunk driving accidents.
In fact, according to the NHTSA’s report, the number of drunk driving fatalities in 2011 was 9,878. This was the first time that drunk driving accident fatalities have dipped below 10,000 in one year, and the number is also the lowest that has ever been recorded.
“This drop in deaths is an important milestone in our nation’s ongoing fight against drunk driving and is further validation that MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving is working,” says Jan Withers, president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). “MADD urges state lawmakers to take advantage of recently passed federal funds available for states requiring all convicted drunk drivers to use an ignition interlock device.”
Like MADD, we at the Davis Law Group in Seattle maintain the stance that there is no such thing as a drunk driving ‘accident,’ and that injuries and fatalities from these types of collisions are 100 percent preventable.
The NHTSA’s report also indicated that there was nearly a two percent decline in total deaths on American highways in 2011. That, however, was outpaced by the aforementioned decline in drunk driving deaths which stood at 2.5 percent, surely another victory for traffic safety advocates everywhere.
“While we have much to celebrate today, we are also reminded of the 9,878 precious lives lost to drunk driving in 2011 and the countless loved ones left behind to pick up the pieces,” Withers added. “In addition, we know that preliminary numbers indicate an overall increase for highway deaths in 2012, so MADD is reminding people across the country to remain vigilant in always planning ahead for a sober designated driver during the holidays and year-round.”
According to the MADD website, nationwide efforts to prevent drunk driving and increase awareness about the issue have led to approximately 300,000 lives being saved. Since 2006, there has been approximately a 27 percent decrease in drunk driving fatalities across the country.