Elements of the Safety Plan
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Goal 5 - Reducing Impaired Driving
Among all traffic safety issues, impaired driving has perhaps the highest profile, and combating it has been vigorously pursued for decades with aggressive campaigns in both the public and private sectors. Despite all these efforts, impaired driving remains a highly difficult issue. The efforts of law enforcement, State legislatures, and citizens’ organizations helped reduce the 1995 alcohol-related fatality rate 24 percent from its 1985 level a laudable achievement. Still, there were 17,274 such deaths in 1995, and that number represented a 4 percent increase from the previous year.
Numerous statistics are generated on the various issues associated with alcohol and driving. The numbers and percentages are often staggeringly large: alcohol was involved in 40 percent of fatal crashes in 1995 an average of one every half hour; there were more than 300,000 injuries where alcohol was reported present; 1.4 million individuals were arrested in 1994 for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs; an estimated 2 in every 5 Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related crash in their lifetimes; intoxicated drivers 21-34 years old accounted for nearly 55 percent of fatal alcohol related 1995 crashes.