Alcohol and Driving
The United States has made considerable progress over the past decade in reducing deaths and injuries due to alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes. Yet improvements in the alcohol-related crash fatality rate have been flat for the past several years, and the mortality and morbidity associated with such crashes remain at unacceptably high levels. In particular, young people are still at high risk for dying in fatal alcohol-related crashes.
Research indicates that most of these deaths and injuries could be prevented through a combination of more effective community policies, enhanced local enforcement efforts, changes in individual attitudes and behaviors, and continued improvements in roadways and motor vehicle safety. With no improvement in current safety performance and expected yearly increases in travel, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) projects that fatalities and injuries could increase by 50 percent by the year 2020.
Solutions: safe communities
The key to a successful and effective injury control program is community empowerment that encourages communities to review the magnitude and cost of traffic injuries using their own crash data found in motor vehicle crash files, ambulance run reports, emergency departments, hospitals, health departments, rehabilitation [units], and insurance records. Safe communities develop strategies and resolve their own problems by reaching out to new partners in the community - such as health and medical professionals and private business - and promoting active involvement by traditional advocates in state highway safety offices, law enforcement, and community safety activist groups.