The Designated Driver...A Friend for Life!

As part of your companyís ongoing employee/safety communications program, consider including some potentially life-saving information regarding alcohol and drinking. It underscores the fact that alcohol and safety donít mix.

Use it along with several of the general alcohol slogans to increase employee awareness. Change your Alpha Message Center daily, using a different slogan each time, to help develop positive safety attitudes regarding alcohol and driving.

Alcohol
About 50 percent of all traffic fatalities in 1990 involved an intoxicated or alcohol-impaired driver or non-occupant, according to studies of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrationís Fata Accident Reporting System file. Of these 22,083 alcohol-related traffic fatalities, an estimated 17,671 occurred in accidents in which a driver or non-occupant was intoxicated (blood alcohol concentration [BAC] of 0.10 percent or greater), and 4,412 involved a driver or non-occupant who had been drinking but was not legally intoxicated. Information from other sources shows that alcohol is also a factor in about 29 percent of serious injury accidents and 7 percent of property damage accidents. The estimated cost of all alcohol-related motor-vehicle accidents in 1991 was about $22.2 billion.

Involvement by Age
For drivers involved in fatal crashes and for all traffic fatalities, rates of alcohol involvement are highest for persons in the 21 to 24 year age group. For drivers in that age group who were involved in fatal crashes in 1990, about 35 percent were intoxicated (BAC > .10 percent). Percentages decrease for each age group over 25. For drivers in the 16 to 20 year age group involved in fatal crashes in 1990, about 21 percent were intoxicated.

Trends
Alcohol involvement in fatal traffic crashes has declined since 1982. In that year, 57 percent of all fatal traffic crashes involved alcohol. In 1990, only 49 percent involved alcohol.

Weekends and night time
Alcohol involvement increases greatly at night and on weekends. In 1990, 79 percent of fatal traffic crashes that occurred on weekend nights were alcohol-related compared to only 19 percent during weekday days (see chart).





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