New Data from NHTSA Found that Utah’s .05% Law Improved Road Safety

New Data from NHTSA Found that Utah’s .05% Law Improved Road Safety

A new study shows that Utah’s latest law to drop its impaired driving legal limit reduced fatalities.

Could a decrease in legal blood alcohol content improve transportation safety and save lives?

The National Highway Traffic Association has released a new study that analyzes data from Utah before and after the state dropped its legal impaired driving limit to .05 percent. Despite the fact that there was an increase in miles travelled, Utah’s fatal crash rate dropped by 19.8 percent in 2019, the first year under the lower limit.

Utah recorded 225 fatal crashes and 248 fatalities in 2019, which is lower than the 259 crashes and 281 fatalities from 2016, the last full year before Utah voted to lowered the blood alcohol level.

NHTSA compared the percentage drops in Utah to those of the rest of the United States, noting that there was only a 5.6 percent fatal crash rate reduction in 2019 for the culmination of states.

“Utah typically has one of the lowest rates of impaired driving fatalities in the nation, but this study shows that all states have room for improvement,” said Dr. Steven Cliff, NHTSA’s Deputy Administrator in a press release. “As our study shows, changing the law to .05% in Utah saved lives and motivated more drivers to take steps to avoid driving impaired. NHTSA conducts research on the effectiveness of countermeasures to improve safety on the nation’s roads, and this study will be a useful tool for other States considering a move to .05%.”

The study also took a look into the driving behaviors of Utahans who choose to drink. In 2019, more than 22 percent of those who drank indicated that they had changed their behaviors once the law went into effect. The most common change was ensuring a sober ride was available when drinking away from home, something NHTSA calls, “an encouraging sign.”

National organizations such as the National Safety Council applauded the new data and said that it was, “ecstatic with the new study results.”

“For decades, this country has seen too many lives lost in preventable crashes where impaired driving was at play,” Jenny Burke, senior director of impairment practice at NSC, said in a press release. “This study shows that the simple act of lowering a state BAC has a direct and immediate impact on saving lives. As America’s leading nonprofit safety advocate, NSC urges all states to follow Utah’s lead and prioritize safety.”

Download Center

  • Industrial Premium Library

    Empower your workforce with the manufacturing, industrial maintenance, operations, HSE, compliance, and professional development skills they need to complete their tasks efficiently and safely. Not only will you boost productivity, reliability, skills, and morale but you’ll also onboard faster, and retain your best employees while meeting regulatory standards. Vector Solutions offers over 1,800 award-winning eLearning courses designed to keep your employees safe, transfer knowledge of fundamentals, and develop industry and job-specific skills that reduce downtime, maintenance costs and more.

  • Safety Metrics & Insights Webinar

    EHS professionals have been tackling the subject of how to best measure performance for many years. Lagging indicators like the Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) and Days Away Restricted Transfer Rate (DART) are a good place to start, but you shouldn’t forget about the leading indicators that your workforce does every day to prevent incidents from occurring. Learn about some of the most common KPIs of safety programs and how Vector EHS Management software can be used to track these metrics in this webinar.

  • Risk Matrix Guide

    Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively. Download this guide for details on risk matrix calculations including severity, probability, and risk assessment.

  • OSHA Recordkeeping Guide

    In case you missed it, OSHA recently initiated an enforcement program to identify employers who fail to electronically submit Form 300A recordkeeping data to the agency. When it comes to OSHA recordkeeping, there are always questions regarding the requirements and ins and outs. This guide is here to help! We’ll explain reporting, recording, and online reporting requirements in detail.

  • Safety Metrics Guide

    Is your company leveraging its safety data and analytics to maintain a safe workplace? With so much data available, where do you start? This downloadable guide will give you insight on helpful key performance indicators (KPIs) you should track for your safety program

  • Vector Solutions

Featured Whitepaper

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - September 2022

    September 2022


    • ESG
      EHS Will Guide Future ESG Success for Many Organizations
      Handling Material Handlers: Training Beyond PIT Requirements
      The Missing Link with EHS Software
      Noise Surveys from the Trenches
    View This Issue