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Impaired driving: Do you know the four D’s?

As the new year approaches, many of us are making plans with friends and loved ones to celebrate the new year. We, here at Nova Medical Centers, want to remind you to be safe while driving. Remember, impaired driving comes in different forms, which are being labeled as “the four D’s’: drunk, drugged, distracted and drowsy. Yes. Drowsy. That means, if you haven’t gotten enough sleep, you can be an impaired driver.

In a press release this month, seven traffic safety and health advocacy organizations joined together for the first time to announce a new initiative in the effort to end impaired driving. The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), National Safety Council (NSC), National Sleep Foundation, RADD; the Entertainment Industry’s Voice for Road Safety (RADD), the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (Responsibility.org), and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) released a new video public service announcement to remind Americans that driving impaired – in any form – is dangerous and preventable.

The campaign emphasizes a comprehensive approach to impaired driving. The cornerstone of the effort is a PSA, which can be found at www.EndImpairedDriving.org. The site encourages individuals to share an advocacy message to #EndImpairedDriving.

Whether you’re driving a work vehicle for the night shift or you’re out with friends on New Year’s Eve, please be safe.

Jonathan Adkins, Executive Director of GHSA, added, “As the PSA says, ‘in a perfect world, impaired driving wouldn’t exist.’ All impairments are dangerous and preventable. I’m proud to join forces with these partners to remind the public that they hold the keys when it comes to making positive choices behind the wheel.”

Drunk Driving
In 2014, 31 percent of traffic fatalities involved a drunk driver. Drunk driving fatalities have decreased 27 percent from 2005 to 2014 but the percentage of overall fatalities has remained flat.
NHTSA, Traffic Safety Facts 2014 Crash Data Key Findings, November 2015. DOT HS 812 219

Drugged Driving
Twenty-three percent of night-time drivers tested positive for illegal, prescription or over-the-counter medications (based on the combined results of oral fluid and blood tests or both).
NHTSA, Results of the 2013-14 National Roadside Survey, 2015. DOT HS 812 118

Distracted Driving
In 2014, 3,179 people (10 percent of overall traffic fatalities) were killed in crashes involving distracted drivers.
NHTSA, Traffic Safety Facts 2014 Crash Data Key Findings, November 2015. DOT HS 812 219

Drowsy Driving
In 2014, nearly three percent of all traffic fatalities involved a drowsy driver, and at least 846 people were killed in crashes involving a drowsy driver.
NHTSA, Traffic Safety Facts 2014 Crash Data Key Findings, November 2015. DOT HS 812 219

As you hit the roads, not only on New Year’s Eve, keep these statistics in mind and help to end impaired driving.

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