“We have proved the point that drowsy-driving can kill. In fact, someone who is the nominated driver at the office party and resolutely avoids alcohol all night is still likely to be in no state to drive when the time comes to drive their friends and colleagues home.”
Jo Whitbourn, Britannia Rescue
Drunk driving fatalities have plummeted over the last 30 years, with alcohol impaired driving responsible for fewer than 30% of fatalities in 2015. However, most Americans believe that the threat of drunk driving has increased during that time.
Due to the success of campaigns aimed at drunk driving, offenders are now rarely casual social drinkers, but hardcore alcoholics. In fact, national statistics indicated that a blood alcohol content of 0.19 (more than twice the legal limit) is the average level among drunk drivers involved in fatal crashes. But even though most Americans drink responsibly, they endanger lives through other—seemingly benign—activities.
With the driving public still fixated on a singular problem, motorists tend to ignore or trivialize larger threats to traffic safety.
Other Threats Compared to Drunk Driving:
- Driving while using a mobile phone affects performance (speed control, following distance, and reaction times) significantly more than driving above the legal BAC level.
- Drivers reacted 30% more slowly and missed more road signs when talking on a hand-held mobile phone than while drunk.
- Drowsy driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving.
- Distracted driving is a much greater threat than drunk driving for American teens.