For only the second time since 2005, drunk driving fatalities dropped below 10,000 in 2014, according to new data just released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Though there is a lot of progress still to be made, this is promising news. 2015 data will be released at the end of this year and we hope to continue seeing numbers decline.
According to NHTSA, 9,967 people were killed in alcohol-related traffic accidents in 2014. This is down from 10,076 in 2013. Looking all the way back to 2005, there were 13,582 traffic fatalities related to drunk driving. Stricter ignition interlock laws paired with awareness campaigns and an increase in law enforcement all contribute to this decrease.
26 states have passed an all-offender interlock law, requiring even first-time Driving Under the Influence (DUI) offenders to install an ignition interlock in their vehicle for a set period of time. Statistics show, ignition interlock devices are critical in preventing repeat drunk driving offenses. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), ignition interlock devices are effective in reducing repeat offenses by up to 67 percent when compared to license suspension.
Ignition interlock laws save lives
States who have tightened their interlock laws have seen drastic declines in the number of alcohol-related traffic fatalities. Arizona passed their all-offender law in 2007 and has seen a 50 percent decrease in drunk driving deaths. Following suit, Oregon has seen a 33 percent decline, Louisiana has seen a 31 percent decline and Washington has seen a 26 percent decline, according to MADD.
As more states continue to pass strict interlock laws for drunk drivers, we hope to see the total number of alcohol-related traffic fatalities continue to decrease. In a survey conducted by the Center for Excellence in Rural Safety, 88 percent of the public supports ignition interlock devices for all drunk driving offenses, even first offenses.
There is still a lot of work to be done to eliminate drunk driving fatalities across the board, starting with ignition interlock requirements for all offenders. While the numbers are decreasing, 9,967 people still lost their lives in alcohol-related accidents in 2014. Of those, 1,070 were children under the age of 14. 1,511 of those were passengers. 1,241 were occupants in a completely separate vehicle. 824 were pedestrians or cyclists. With ignition interlock devices installed in the vehicles of the 6,391 drivers who were killed with a BrAC over the legal limit, some of these deaths could have been prevented.
Ignition interlock devices are not required in every case that would prove to be beneficial. Intoxalock offers affordable voluntary solutions for those situations. If you, or somebody you know, can benefit from guaranteed sober driving with the help of an ignition interlock device, call us today at (855) 531-5244. Together, we can help prevent alcohol-related traffic fatalities.