Focus On Stopping Drunk Driving, Not Just During Holidays, But Year Round
Drunk Driving gets a lot of attention during the Holidays, but it needs to be a year-long priority.
Schmalfeldt: The holiday season is upon us. With the season comes the usual parties, celebrations, and road trips either across the country, or as close as grandmother's house. The holidays also see an unfortunate surge in drunk driving fatalities, as we hear from Jackie Glassman, Acting Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Glassman: As people are going out and enjoying holiday cheer and getting together with their friends and families, as they go out and enjoy this time, don't drink and drive. Last year in December we lost 1200 people to drunk driving deaths, and what we're really trying to tell people is make sure (to) watch your friends, watch yourself, if you feel "buzzed" don't drive. If you notice your friends shouldn't be driving, give them a lift home. Friends don't let friends drive drunk.
Schmalfeldt: That's great advice, not just during the holidays, but all the year through, as we hear from Dr. Ralph Hingson, Director of the Division of Epidemiology and Prevention Research at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
Hingson: It's a year-round problem. There are over 16,000 alcohol-related traffic deaths all around the year. So, while we need to be particularly vigilant in the holidays, that's not the only time. What we want to make sure is that there is attention focused to this issue throughout the year.
Schmalfeldt: For more information, including an informative "New Year's Fact Sheet," visit www.niaaa.nih.gov. From the National Institutes of Health, I'm Bill Schmalfeldt in Bethesda, Maryland.
About This Audio Report
Reporter: Bill Schmalfeldt
Sound Bite: SJackie Glassman, NHTSA; Dr. Ralph Hingson, NIAAA
Topic: Drunk Driving