The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released new data today showing 9,878 drunk driving fatalities in 2011. As a result, MADD is celebrating an historic milestone in the nation’s fight against drunk driving: the first time drunk driving fatalities have fallen below 10,000.
Not only did the number of people killed in drunk driving crashes in 2011 (9,878) drop by 2.5 percent from the number killed in 2010 (10,136), but this decline outpaced the 1.9 percent decrease in overall highway deaths.
This drop in deaths is an important milestone in our nation’s ongoing fight against drunk driving and is further validation that MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® is working.
Since MADD was founded in 1980, more than 300,000 lives have been saved as a result of efforts to strengthen drunk driving laws and raise awareness about this 100 percent preventable crime. In addition, since MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving was launched in 2006, we’ve seen an almost 27 percent decrease in drunk driving fatalities.
While we have much to celebrate today, we are also reminded of the 9,878 precious lives lost to drunk driving last year and the countless loved ones left behind to pick up the pieces. In addition, we know that preliminary numbers indicate an overall increase for highway deaths in 2012, so please help MADD remind people across the country to remain vigilant in always planning ahead for a sober designated driver during the holidays and year-round.