NHTSA Chief Sends Safe Driving Message for Labor Day Weekend

NHTSA has reported that there were 35,092 people killed in U.S. traffic crashes during 2015, which ended a five-decade trend of declining fatalities with a 7.2 percent increase in deaths from 2014, and its data showed a 3.2 percent increase in drunk driving fatalities -- with 10,265 such deaths in 2015, compared to 9,943 in 2014.

This year's Labor Day weekend may be stormy for Americans living along the East Coast, which makes the holiday safe driving reminders from NHTSA and DOT even more timely. Dr. Mark Rosekind, administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, writes that NHTSA each year at this time warns motorists of the dangers associated with drunk driving through its "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign.

"Our efforts are supported by law enforcement agencies across the country, and we do it for good reason: to keep people safe during busy travel days and the last big celebratory weekend of summer," Rosekind wrote. "As Administrator, I have the opportunity to meet many people in many different situations. Recently, I met an intern during our 'Safe Cars Save Lives' bus tour. He kindly reminded me that, 'You can't save the whole world, but you can save one person, and that one person can do the same.'

"It turns out he lost his grandmother in a crash involving a drunk driver. I am humbled to know that there are individuals in this agency that have lived through the very issues we discuss and advocate for every day, and that in turn, they make the choice to dedicate their work to helping prevent others from feeling the pain of losing a family member or friend or coworker," Rosekind continued. "Choices can define who we are. For those who made the wrong choice about drinking and driving, it’s hard to live knowing you made that life-changing mistake. Having talked to countless families of victims and listened to the sadness of their stories, I can tell you that no one wants to receive that phone call. If you are at an event where alcohol is being consumed, designate a sober driver and don't be afraid to intervene when someone who shouldn’t be behind the wheel attempts to drive. You never know how much that one choice can affect many lives. It is against the law in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico to drive a vehicle if you're impaired. With all the modern conveniences available today, there's no excuse. Put the keys away and call a sober friend, call a taxi or take public transportation home."

NHTSA has reported that there were 35,092 people killed in U.S. traffic crashes during 2015, which ended a five-decade trend of declining fatalities with a 7.2 percent increase in deaths from 2014, and its data showed a 3.2 percent increase in drunk driving fatalities -- with 10,265 such deaths in 2015, compared to 9,943 in 2014.

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