This week, the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign began and it will run through New Year’s Day 2015. The federal effort will be coordinated with state and local law enforcement efforts to keep car accidents involving drunk driving from happening during this festive holiday season.
Drunk Driving Kills People: Drive Sober Campaigns
These campaigns are working, hopefully: according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of drunk driving deaths fell 2.5% last year (in 2013). Still, deaths caused by people driving under the influence is still a very serious problem in this country: in 2013, a person died every 52 minutes from a drunk driving crash.
“We will continue to be relentless in our effort to curb drunk driving because each life is precious,” said Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Too many lives are still being cut far too short because of drunk driving. We can stop these tragedies by making the decision not to allow ourselves or our loved ones to get behind the wheel after drinking.”
According to the Illinois statistics, approximately 47% of Illinois motor vehicle fatalities involve alcohol. This year, the State of Illinois is participating in the Drive Sober campaign during the last two weeks of December 2014.
Indiana reports 5,152 alcohol-related traffic crashes in 2012, which resulted in 158 fatalities, 246 serious bodily injuries, and 1,866 other injuries (a total of 2,112 non-fatal injuries). This means that just about every other day in Indiana, someone dies in a drunk driving crash – or around 3 people a week. That’s a sad statistic for our state. The Drive Sober campaign is also in effect for the remainder of this month in Indiana.
Drunk Driving Safety Tips
- Plan a safe way home before you start partying.
- Choose a designated driver, who agrees to stay sober during the evening.
- If you may be drunk or buzzed, then use the SaferRide app, or otherwise get a ride home (call a taxi, call your mom).
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, call the police. You may save a life.
- If someone is about to drive away drunk, then stop them. Take their keys. Get them a ride home.
- Don’t get in a car with someone who may be intoxicated.
2014: SaferRide App
The NHTSA has a free app, SaferRide, that is available online (including Android / Google Play) which allows you to call for a cab or a pal for a ride home that gives them your location automatically. You can get the app here.
Wrongful Death and Serious Injuries in Car Crashes From Drunk Driving
Each year, victims die in car crashes that are the result of things like road hazards, driver errors, or product failure (like those ignition failures made the subject of the current GM car recalls). However, the most tragic traffic fatalities are those that could have been easily prevented – like those where drunk driving caused the crash.
Personal injury law does provide ways for those who are victims of drunk driving to seek justice after these tragedies. However, the best justice is to keep these tragedies from happening in the first place. Let’s all do our part to stop drunk driving in our communities.