Each year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) examines fatal motor vehicle accidents that happen across the country. The agency hopes to get a better sense of some of the trends present in these crashes, which then helps to create new policies that improve safety for all motorists.
Alcohol is a frequently a factor in many of these accidents. State legislators frequently consider rules that would increase the penalties in place for drunk drivers. Whether it is increased fines, jail time for first-time offenders or ignition interlock devices, the consequences of a conviction can have a lasting impact.
However, some question whether the rules are having the desired effect. Deaths caused due to drunk drivers remain at concerning levels, and officials may take a closer look at this year’s report to increase DUI enforcement campaigns.
The NHTSA report examined all fatal accidents that occurred in 2010. Of the fatalities on U.S. roads, nearly one-third involved an intoxicated driver. Perhaps even more alarming to officials was the high blood-alcohol content of those drivers that died in these accidents. Many of the accidents killed an impaired driver, and of these deaths, over 70 percent of the drivers had BACs that were substantially above the legal limit.
As officials study this report more closely, changes could be made to make drunk driving laws tougher. Many state and local law enforcement agencies will be conducting drunk driving enforcement campaigns in an effort to remove impaired motorists from roadways. As the busy Labor Day weekend approaches, expect these campaigns to become more numerous throughout the region.
Source: TheTrucker.com “Three percent of fatal truck accidents in 2010 involved alcohol” August 14, 2012.