Every day, about 29 people in the United States die in alcohol-impaired vehicle crashes. This is more than one an hour during 2016. While it’s true that drunk-driving fatalities have fallen by a third in the last three decades, drunk-driving calamities claim more than 10,000 lives per year. In 2016, there were 10,497 people who lost their life in a drunk-driving crash, a 1.7% increase from 2015.
Exponentially more lives were forever changed for the worse by the loss of a parent, child, friend or loved one. In 2010, the most recent year for which data is available from NHTSA*, these deaths and accident damages cost our society $44B per year.
The traditions of St. Patrick’s Day, such as corned beef and cabbage and shamrocks, accompany the tradition of drinking Irish beer and/or whiskey. These days, prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications and illegal drugs may cause impairment alone or in combination with each other and/or with alcohol.
In every State and the District of Columbia, impaired driving is illegal. Whether by drugs, legal or illegal, alcohol, or a combination of drugs and alcohol, impaired driving leaves the driver, their passengers, and other road users at risk. In NHTSA’s National Roadside Survey conducted in 2013-2014, 20% of drivers surveyed tested positive for potentially impairing drugs.
If you are participating in St. Patrick’s Day festivities, plan for a sober ride home. Volunteer to be the sober designated driver; plan for a sober ride home with a DD; plan for that extra guest to spend the night; collect the keys. Do whatever is needed to guarantee a safe and fun-filled St. Patrick’s Day.
NHTSA Twitter Chat
NHTSA invites you to a Twitter Chat on Wednesday 14 March 14, 2018 from 3-4 p.m. ET IT will provide stats and information on buzzed driving prevention. Experts will be available to answer questions while you spread the word and encourage your followers to plan ahead.
- Who: NHTSA and our team of experts
- What: St. Patrick’s Day Buzzed Driving Twitter Chat
- When: Wednesday, March 14, 2018, 3 – 4 p.m. ET
- Where: www.Twitter.com/NHTSAgov
- How: Follow the conversation using the hashtag #BuzzedDriving. Feel free to mention @NHTSAgov in any of your tweets and we will get back to as many questions and comments as we can! Remember to include #BuzzedDriving in your comments so others can follow the conversation, too. Invite your friends and followers to join us and help spread the important message about planning ahead, designating a sober driver, and not getting behind the wheel impaired. Buzzed driving is completely preventable. All it takes is a little planning. Don’t rely on luck this St. Patrick’s Day- get a sober ride home.
*National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, aka NHTSA, is part of the Department of Transportation. Follow NHTSA on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with the latest recalls and safety campaigns.