FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 13, 2022
CONTACT: Allison Kennedy / firstname.lastname@example.org / 360-281-7033 (C)
Statement of Cathy Chase, President, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates), on New NHTSA Study on Impaired Driving and Increased Dangers during the December Holiday Season
Today, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a study regarding seriously injured or killed roadway users demonstrating remarkably high levels of alcohol and drug use. Fifty-six (56) percent of the road users in the study tested positive for one or more drug categories including alcohol, and 20 percent tested positive for two or more drug categories (polyuse). The two most common drug categories for which road users in the study tested positive were cannabinoids (active THC) at 25 percent and alcohol at 23 percent.
As we head into the December holiday season when impaired driving is an increased danger on our roadways, we urge NHTSA to take immediate action to require impaired driving prevention technologies in new cars. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has found that more than 9,000 lives a year could be saved with widespread implementation of alcohol detection systems. Decades of education and awareness campaigns have not eliminated this known killer on our roads, but technology can. The delay in progress must stop. No family should have an empty seat at the holiday table especially when proven solutions are at the ready.
Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety is an alliance of consumer, medical, public health, law enforcement, and safety groups and insurance companies and agents working together to improve road safety in the U.S. Advocates’ mission is the adoption of federal and state laws, policies and programs that prevent motor vehicle crashes, save lives, reduce injuries, and contain costs.