NTSB Forum Addresses the Dangers of Impaired Driving

In order to find new ways to help protect drivers from those who drive while impaired by alcohol, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently held a forum to discuss the problem. The Reaching Zero forum addressed several key issues, such as the prevention of drunk driving accidents through effective education and police enforcement.

The dangers of impaired driving

Statistics show that millions of people drive under the influence of alcohol every year. Unfortunately, this behavior has a devastating effect on America's population. In 2009 alone, approximately 11,000 people were killed in traffic accidents that involved an impaired driver. In addition, studies show that one-third of all transportation deaths involve a driver who is impaired by alcohol or drugs.

Ways to prevent impaired driving

Although the problem of impaired driving is rampant, it's difficult to hold these drivers accountable because very few of them are actually pulled over and arrested. Even when these individuals are punished for driving under the influence, statistics show that there is a high probability they will drive drunk again.

In order to hold drunk drivers accountable, the National Transportation Safety Board suggested implementing several initiatives designed to prevent future drunk-driving accidents. The Center for Disease Control has laid out some basic strategies that would be included in the initiative:

  • Ignition interlocks prevent someone who has consumed alcohol from starting a car. When they are installed in a vehicle, convicted drunk drivers are significantly less likely to reoffend.
  • When states have "zero tolerance" policies on underage drunk drivers, statistics indicate that fatal car crashes among this group of motorists are reduced by between nine and 24 percent.
  • When law enforcement personnel increase enforcement efforts through sobriety checkpoints, this can act as a strong deterrent for potential drunk drivers. Research has also shown that checkpoints can decrease fatalities caused by impaired driving by 20 percent.
If you have been in an accident

Implementing these strategies would result in fewer drunken driving accidents on U.S. roadways. However, the potential of being involved in an accident with an impaired driver still exists. Even in the most ideal policy environment, motorists will continue to find ways to get behind the wheel while impaired.

If you have been injured by a driver impaired by alcohol or drugs, it is important to hold the person accountable for their irresponsible behavior. You may want to seek the council of an experienced personal injury attorney in order to do so. A personal injury attorney will help you seek justice and obtain compensation for your injuries and suffering.

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