Oct 21, 2015 - A SERIOUS PROBLEM

Impaired driving is a serious problem. As seen in recent news, more and more people are feeling the impact and devastation of losing loved ones in horrendous accidents because of careless, impaired drivers.

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Canada, Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among 16 to 25 year olds, and alcohol and/or drugs are a factor in 55% of those crashes. For those that have lost loved ones, life will never be the same.

The financial and social costs of impaired driving are staggering. In 2010, impairment-related crashes resulted in an estimated 1,082 fatalities, 63,821 injuries and damage to 210,932 vehicles in property damage only crashes. There were a total of 181,911 crashes, costing an estimated $20.62 BILLION. These costs factor in fatalities, injuries, property damage, traffic delays, out-of-pocket expenses, hospital/health costs and police, fire and ambulance costs (MADD 2010).

MADD Canada encourages the government to move forward with the recommendations of its own standing committee on justice and human rights and bring random breath testing to Canada. Random breath testing is widely acknowledged as one of the most effective means of deterring impaired driving. It has been adopted in New Zealand, Australia and most European countries, and has helped to reduce overall road crashes and fatalities. Existing breath screening laws do not allow police to demand a roadside breath sample unless they have reasonable grounds to suspect the driver of being intoxicated (MADD 2010). However, not all people show obvious behavioral signs of impairment and can easily go undetected through a RIDE checkpoint.

Many drivers underestimate how alcohol can affect ones judgment. Even having a small volume of alcohol in your system can impact your hand-eye coordination, ability to focus, ability to see and think clearly, and ability to recognize potentially hazardous road conditions or dangerous situations. Some people may believe that coffee, a cold shower, or fresh air will lower their blood alcohol content (BAC) and improve their judgment. This is false! Only time can get alcohol and drugs out of your system.

Having a conversation with your friends about the seriousness of impaired driving is one of the first steps YOU can take NOW to help reduce the amount of fatalities. It might be hard, but insisting that a friend or family member not drive home while under the influence can save their life, as well as an innocent victims.

Call a cab, call a friend, call your parents or family members – they would all rather you get home safe. If you’re hosting a party, offer places for people to sleep and take keys away to prevent anyone from sneaking away. Refuse to get into a car if you know the driver has been drinking. Try not to embarrass the person, and speak calmly. Don’t give up. You can make a difference.

Source: The Argus


Last updated on: 2015-10-30 | Link to this post