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Back To Vidyya December Is...

National Drunk And Drugged Driving Prevention Month

December has been designated National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month by the National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month Coalition, a national public-private partnership devoted to preventing impaired driving crashes. During 1999, alcohol-related motor-vehicle crashes resulted in an estimated 15,786 deaths in the United States (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [NHTSA], unpublished data, October 2000). On the basis of data provided by NHTSA and the U.S. Bureau of the Census, the rate of alcohol-related motor-vehicle deaths steadily declined from 8.9 to 5.8 per 100,000 persons during 1990--1999 (NHTSA, unpublished data, October 2000) (1,2). The 1999 rate nearly met the national health objective for 2000 of no more than 5.5 deaths per 100,000 persons (3). The Healthy People 2010: Health Objectives for the Nation has set a target for alcohol-related traffic fatalities of no more than 4.0 per 100,000 persons (4). Meeting the 2010 objective will require a further decrease of 31% in the rate of alcohol-related traffic fatalities.

The passage of the national 0.08% blood alcohol concentration standard for impaired driving (5) represents an important step toward reducing alcohol-related traffic fatalities. Other strategies include strict enforcement of impaired driving and minimum legal drinking age laws, sobriety checkpoints, and prompt suspension of licenses for persons arrested for driving while impaired (6).

Additional information about National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month is available from the National Commission Against Drunk Driving, 1900 L Street, NW, Suite 705, Washington, DC 20036; telephone, (202) 452-6004; or World-Wide Web site, http://www.3dmonth.org*.

References

  1. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Traffic safety facts 1998: a compilation of motor vehicle crash data for the Fatality Analysis Reporting System and the General Estimates System. Washington, DC: US Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, National Center for Statistics and Analysis, 1999; report no. DOT-HS-808-983.
  2. Bureau of the Census, Economics and Statistics Administration, US Department of Commerce. IDB data access-display mode. Available at http://www.census.gov/population/www/estimates/popest.html. Accessed November 2000.
  3. National Center for Health Statistics. Healthy people 2000 review, 1998--99. Hyattsville, Maryland: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC, 1996.
  4. US Department of Health and Human Services. Healthy people 2010 (conference ed, 2 vols). Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services, January 2000.
  5. Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2001, Public Law no. 106-346 (October 23, 2000).
  6. DeJong W, Hingson R. Strategies to reduce driving under the influence of alcohol. Annu Rev Public Health 1998;19:359--78.


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Editor: Susan K. Boyer, RN
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