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NHTSA Looks to Prevent Drunk Driving Accidents Over Labor Day Weekend

Texas Car Accident Lawyer | NHTSA Looks to Curb Labor Day Drunk  Driving Crashes

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched a new campaign to prevent car accidents and other motor vehicle crashes caused by drunk or impaired driving, particularly over the Labor Day holiday weekend.

“Our campaign’s focus is to raise national awareness about the dangers of driving while impaired, and to prevent future crash fatalities and injuries,” NHTSA Deputy Administrator James Owens said in a statement announcing the initiative. “NHTSA encourages everyone to celebrate this socially-distanced Labor Day safely and create a plan that prevents you, your friends, or your family from driving impaired.”

44% of Labor Day Traffic Deaths Involved Drunk Drivers

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is the leading cause of traffic fatalities in the United States.

In 2018, more than 10,500 motor vehicle deaths – 29% of all traffic fatalities reported that year – involved a driver with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher. About two-thirds (7,051) involved a driver with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.15 or above – close to twice the legal limit in most states.

Year after year, the Labor Day weekend ranks as one of the deadliest periods on the nation’s roads. In fact, from 2014-2018, 44% of traffic deaths reported over the holiday weekend involved drivers who had been drinking. Those crashes killed 945 people.

Drunk driving is illegal in all 50 states and Washington D.C.

Prescription and over-the-counter medications can also impair one’s ability to drive safely, and driving under their influence is also unlawful. Even in states where recreational and medical marijuana use is permitted, it remains illegal to drive under the influence of cannabis.

NHTSA: “Driver Sober or Get Pulled Over”

A blood alcohol concentration of just 0.02 can adversely impact visual function, as well as the ability to perform two tasks at the same time. A level of 0.08 causes reduced focus, short-term memory loss, lack of speed control, diminished information processing capability, and impaired perception. At 0.15, drivers experience substantial impairment in regards to vehicle control, attention to driving task, and necessary visual and auditory information processing.

The NHTSA’s “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign runs from August 19th through September 7th.

During this high-visibility nationwide effort, thousands of participating state and local law enforcement agencies will be monitoring the roads for impaired drivers. They will show zero tolerance for drunk and intoxicated driving.

The NHTSA is supporting their efforts with a $10 million-dollar national advertising campaign that reminds Americans not to drive impaired and to have a plan to prevent drunk and intoxicated driving:

  • Arrange a safe and sober ride home before drinking alcohol.
  • Don’t let someone get behind the wheel if that person has been drinking.
  • If you’re hosting a party, make sure everyone has a sober ride home.
  • Always wear your seat belt. It’s your best defense against impaired drivers.
  • If you see a drunk driver, call 911.

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