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The new Fact Sheets for 2009 have been completed and are now available on the CJI website, they can be found either from our homepage http://www.in.gov/cji/index.htm or directly at http://www.in.gov/cji/2572.htm.

The Fact Sheets cover the areas of:

U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Announces

Lowest Traffic Fatalities in Six Decades

2009 Data Show Major Across-the-Board Declines in all Categories Despite a Slight Increase in Road Travel

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today released updated 2009 fatality and injury data showing that highway deaths fell to 33,808 for the year, the lowest number since 1950. The record-breaking decline in traffic fatalities occurred even while estimated vehicle miles traveled in 2009 increased by 0.2 percent over 2008 levels.

In addition, 2009 saw the lowest fatality and injury rates ever recorded: 1.13 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 2009, compared to 1.26 deaths for 2008.

Fatalities declined in all categories of vehicles including motorcycles, which saw fatalities fall by 850 from 2008, breaking an 11-year cycle of annual increases.

At the Department of Transportation, we are laser-focused on our top priority: safety, said Secretary LaHood. Today's announcement shows that America's roads are the safest they have ever been. But they must be safer. And we will not rest until they are.

As part of the Departments campaign to reduce traffic fatalities, Secretary LaHood will convene a National Distracted Driving Summit on Sept. 21 in Washington, D.C.The Secretary will bring together leading transportation officials, safety advocates, law enforcement, industry representatives, researchers and victims affected by distraction-related crashes to address challenges and identify opportunities for national anti-distracted driving efforts. This follows the first summit Secretary LaHood held in the Fall of 2009 that sparked a national conversation about texting and talking on cell phones while driving.

According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study based on 2006 Centers for Disease Control (CDC) data, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for those between the ages of 3 and 34.

In addition to the record-breaking drop in fatalities, the number of people injured in motor vehicle crashes in 2009 declined for a 10th straight year in a row, falling an estimated 5.5 percent from 2008, according to NHTSA data released today.

Alcohol impaired driving fatalities declined by 7.4 percent in 2009 -10,839 compared to 11,711 reported in 2008.  Overall, 33 states and Puerto Rico experienced a decline in the number of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in 2009 compared to 2008.

Today's numbers reflect the tangible benefits of record seat belt use and strong anti-drunk driving enforcement campaigns, said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. But we are still losing more than 30,000 lives a year on our highways, and about a third of these involve drunk driving. We will continue to work with our state partners to strictly enforce both seat belt use and anti-drunk driving laws across this nation, every day and every night.

Highlights of the latest Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and related NHTSA data include the following:

  • 33,808 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2009, a 9.7 percent decline from 37,423 deaths reported in 2008, and the lowest number of deaths since 1950 (which had 33,186).

  • An estimated 2.217 million people were injured in 2009, a 5.5 percent decline from 2.346 million in 2008.

  • 30,797 fatal crashes occurred in 2009, down 9.9 percent from 34,172 in 2008.  All crashes (fatal, injury and property damage only) were down by 5.3 percent in 2009 from a year ago.

  • Forty-one states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico all had reductions in fatalities, led by Florida (with 422 fewer fatalities) and Texas (with 405 fewer fatalities).

Last Year In America:

Americans drank more alcoholic beverages than milk last year.

14% to 18% of Americans were problem drinkers or alcoholics.

It is estimated that over 77% of men and 66% of women drink alcohol.

There are over a million DUI arrest made each year in America.

The average American consumes 2.34 gallons of liquor, 2.77 gallons of wine, 30.4 gallons of beer.

Last Month In America:

About 112 million Americans, or about 40% of the population of 300 million, had a can of beer, a glass of wine or a cocktail.

About two-thirds of the 5,500,000 college students also had a drink as did half of the 2,500,000 high school seniors.

Last Week In America:

About 1,750,000 college students had 5 or more drinks at one sitting.

Yesterday In America:

About 10,000,000 Americans of all ages had more than 5 drinks.

About $200,000,000 dollars were spent at bars, restaurants and liquor stores for those drinks.

About 3,000,000 adolescents, unfortunately had a continuing problem with alcohol.

Almost $400,000,000 dollars were lost because of alcohol-related problems such as lost productivity and illness.

Over 350 heavy drinkers died from medical complications of their drinking (130,000 ) a year.

About 1,250 people were injured by a drunk drivers.

More than half of the 300 rapes that occured involved alcohol.

About 20,000 of the crimes that occured involved alcohol or other drugs.

For some reason we don't really look at alcohol as being a drug,yet it is the most widely abused drug in America.

Alcohol is the number 1 offender causing more problems than all other drugs combined.

53 arrest were Alcohol and a Stimulant combined, 37 arrest were Alcohol and a Depressant combined, 30 arrest were Alcohol and a Narcotic, 161 arrest were Alcohol and Marijuana and 11 arrest were Alcohol and Postive Type Unknown for a total of 292 impaired drivers on our highways.

In 2004 we lost 16,919 victims to impaired drivers across the nation.

In 2005 we lost 16,885 victims to impaired drivers only 34 less than 2004.

With all the public awareness that is out to the public daily you would think more people would get the message, NOT TO DRIVE IMPAIRED !

In 2004 in Indiana we lost 304 victims to impaired drivers.

In 2005 in Indiana we lost 320 victims to impaired drivers, 16 more innocent lives taken in 2005 than the year before, the is 16 too many !!!

DO WE HAVE A PROBLEM WITH IMPAIRED DRIVING IN INDIANA? Maybe if our laws were tougher and jail time longer on first time offenders driving impaired we could stop the unnecessary murder of innocent victims every day on our road and water ways.

Alcohol is the number one killer in the United States, Alcohol is the number one abused drug in the United States, over 600,000 injured people every year in the United States and at this point over 16,000 people killed in the United States.

We remember the 3,052 people that were killed on 9-11-01. We remember the 2,000 plus Troops lost in Iraq in the last 3 years fighting for our freedom.

What about the 80,000 innocent victims that have died in the United States in the same time period because of imparied driving?

In the United States there are 1.2 million DUI arrest a year, how many more innocent victims must die before we stop impaired driving?

Maybe we should be like some of the other countries, for example:

In South Africa first DUI 10 years in prison and a $ 10,000.00 fine

In Iran first DUI 50 floggings with a cat of nine tails a total of 450 hits across your back.

In Bulgaria second DUI execution.

In Tidbit first DUI your car is auctioned and you are barred for life from driving.

I guess compared to these countries Impaired Driving in the United States IS a slap on the hand.

Information supplied by: NHTSA(FARS), R.I.D.C. and Gus Mutthias.

Copyright 2006 Advocates Against Impaired Driving, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED