An advertising campaign launched by the U.S. Department of Transportation, titled Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, will be targeted to night time motorists.
Getting into an auto accident may result in higher car insurance quotes, but driving under the influence could cost lives. Studies by the DOT show that between the hours of 12am to 3am there is a fatality due to drunk driving every 23 minutes.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood stated that law enforcement and driving safety awareness have decreased the number of auto accidents over the past 30 years, yet drunk driving continues to be one of the primary causes of injury and fatalities on United States’ roads.
In 1980, there were more than 53,000 motor vehicle deaths, but that figure dropped by 41 percent over the next 29 years when in 2009, there were approximately 31,000 auto accident fatalities, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. But in 2009, approximately two-thirds of auto accidents between midnight and 3am were a result of drunk driving, while 25 percent of the 11,000 fatalities in that time period were liked to alcohol.
The agency says the fewest fatal motor accidents occur between the hours of 3am to 6am However, more than half of those are due to alcohol impaired driving.
According to the DOT, 35 percent of drivers involved in fatal accidents between 12 a.m. to 3 a.m. were 21 to 24 years old. Those 25 to 34 years old were the second most likely to be involved in such accidents.
In addition to raising awareness, the DOT hopes to discourage drunk driving through law enforcement, specifically relating to “invisible” police strategies. The DOT suggests that officers are able to detect drunken behavior and will apprehend intoxicated individuals attempting to operate their vehicles.
David Strickland, administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, said law enforcement officers are arresting drunk drivers across the United States. He further warns citizens that driving intoxicated is a fatal risk and even if an individual doesn’t see police officers around, that doesn’t mean the officers aren’t aware.
“High visibility law enforcement is an important part of MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving,” said Jan Withers, president of MADD National. “MADD is proud to partner with NHTSA and the heroes who keep our roads safe to remind the public to Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”
With the help of MADD and the cooperation of law enforcement agencies across the nation, the DOT hopes to put a dent in drunken driving fatality rates as well as lower auto insurance quotes.