Prevention Efforts Intensify As Drunk Driving Deaths Are Up 27% Since 2018
IRVING, TEXAS — August 31, 2023 — Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) projects that drunk driving deaths may surge 40% during Labor Day Weekend, based on the most recent data available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This comes on top of a 27% year-round increase in deaths caused by drunk driving since 2018. Today, someone in the U.S. is killed or injured in a drunk driving crash every 79 seconds.
To reverse this trend, MADD is working with law enforcement agencies across the country to encourage stops for impaired driving, speeding, and other risky driving, and support sobriety checkpoints, which reduce drunk driving deaths by up to 20%, according to the U.S. CDC. These prevention efforts coincide with NHTSA’s “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign and MADD’s accelerated efforts to prevent drunk driving by equipping the public with facts, actionable advice and building awareness of alcohol safety technology such as SOBRsafe.
“Over Labor Day weekend, roughly 41% of traffic fatalities are caused by drunk driving. This is a 100% preventable crime, and ending it is key to ensuring that the fun lasts long after summer ends,” said Tess Rowland, MADD national president, who was severely injured by a drunk driver in 2021.
On an average day, there are nearly 347,000 drunk drivers on the road, according to a MADD analysis of CDC data, and most offenders drive drunk at least 80 times before they are arrested. MADD is advocating for stricter laws, including proven ignition interlocks for convicted offenders.
“Labor Day is one of the deadliest days on the roads and we know that technology like our SOBRsure wearable is vital in removing alcohol from the driver safety equation,” stated SOBRsafe Chairman and CEO Dave Gandini. “With continuous monitoring and a phone-based app, we can help provide remote safety assurance. By creating a culture of support and prevention, we are closer to ending this 100% preventable crime.”
As MADD works to spotlight the dangers of drunk driving, it is also sounding the alarm around drugged driving and combining multiple substances, or “poly use.” A growing body of state and academic data showing that even experienced cannabis users face physiological effects that impair driving and can be dangerous, even over short distances.
“There is no good reason to risk the serious consequences associated with impaired driving. We want everyone to have a good time, and that means not driving if you are impaired,” said MADD CEO Stacey D. Stewart. “Plan ahead for a designated driver, taxi or rideshare service, or public transit. Visit MADD.org for tips on what to do if someone decides to drive while impaired. Help raise awareness by following MADD on social media. And consider volunteering or donating to MADD to help create a world where there are No More Victims of impaired driving.”
If you, or someone you love, has been the victim of impaired driving, support is available at no cost 24 hours a day via the MADD Victim Help Line 1-877-MADD-HELP (1-877-623-3435) or www.MADD.org.
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About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nonprofit leader in a movement to create a world where there are #NoMoreVictims of impaired driving. By working in collaboration with law enforcement to end underage drinking and all drunk and drugged driving, MADD has helped reduce drunk driving deaths by more than 50%, saving more than 400,000 lives. The organization is a vocal advocate for tougher sentencing, new laws and new technology, including implementation of the Halt Act. MADD also has provided supportive services to nearly one million victims of drunk and drugged driving at no charge through local victim advocates and its 24-Hour Victim Help Line 1-877-MADD-HELP. For more information or to make a donation, visit us at https://madd.org/and follow MADD on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
The annual cost of alcohol abuse in the U.S. is $249 billion. Nearly half of all industrial accidents with injuries are alcohol-related, and 1-in-10 U.S. commercial drivers test positive for alcohol (the highest rate worldwide). In response, SOBRsafe™ has developed a proprietary, touch-based identity verification, alcohol detection and cloud-based reporting system. The technology is transferable across innumerable form factors, including stationary access control, personal wearables and telematics integration. A preventative solution in historically reactive industries, it is being deployed for commercial fleets, workplaces, alcohol rehabilitation, probation management and teen drivers. This patent-pending alcohol detection solution helps prevent an intoxicated worker from taking the factory floor or a driver from receiving the keys to a truck, rideshare vehicle or the family car. An offender is immediately flagged, and an administrator is empowered to take the appropriate corrective actions. At SOBRsafe, we are creating a culture of prevention and support. To learn more, visit www.sobrsafe.com.
Kim Pucci, MADD