WASHINGTON, D.C. (PRWEB) November 25, 2015
Today, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) learned that the number of drunk driving fatalities on our nation’s roadways has dropped below 10,000 for the first time since 2011. In 2014, there were 9,967 fatalities involving an alcohol impaired driver, compared to 10,076 in 2013.
According to data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 32,675 people were killed in traffic crashes in 2014. Drunk driving was involved in 31 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2014.
While the drop in overall fatalities is welcome news, NHTSA also noted that overall traffic deaths for the first six months of 2015 are up as much as 8.1 percent. As a nation, we must do better in preventing these senseless tragedies.
“Fortunately, MADD has a plan to end all drunk driving deaths in the United States,” said MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church.
“MADD launched the Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving and created a blueprint for a nation of No More Victims,” Sheehey-Church said. “We have made great progress by passing laws in 25 states to require drunk drivers to use an ignition interlock device. The question now becomes: Why aren’t all states requiring drunk drivers to use an ignition interlock?”
Ignition interlock laws are a key feature of MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving. Since the Campaign was launched in 2006, drunk driving deaths are down by 26 percent. The newly released NHTSA data shows a continued decline in states with ignition interlock laws, such as Arizona, which has experienced a 50 percent reduction in drunk driving fatalities since its law passed in 2007. Drunk driving fatalities in West Virginia have dropped 40 percent since 2008, and other states, such as Oregon, Washington and Hawaii have had reductions of 25 to 33 percent.
Today, MADD issues a national call to action and challenges every state to pass all-offender ignition interlock laws and improve existing laws to ensure all offenders use an ignition interlock as soon as possible after a drunk driving offense. MADD also encourages every law enforcement agency to participate in NHTSA’s upcoming Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign to increase enforcement during the holidays.
“We know the holidays are a time of increased festivities and highway travel, and we thank our law enforcement heroes for stepping up enforcement during what should be a joyous time of year. Too often, those festivities are disrupted by the tragic consequences of drunk driving,” Sheehey-Church said. “Sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols work. They remove dangerous drivers and send a message to would-be drunk drivers that they will be caught.”
About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is celebrating its 35th anniversary by creating a future of NO MORE VICTIMS. MADD is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these crimes and prevent underage drinking. MADD supports drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge, serving one person every fifteen minutes through local MADD victim advocates and at 1-877-MADD-HELP. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® will end drunk driving through increased law enforcement, all offender ignition interlock laws and advanced vehicle technology. PowerTalk 21® is the national day for parents to talk with their teens about alcohol, using Power of Parents®’ proven approach to reduce underage drinking. Learn more by visiting MADD’s new website at madd.org or calling 1-877-ASK-MADD.