Safety: Drunks R Us

Long Island Crash Kills Four

Four young women riding in a chauffeured limousine making a U-turn were killed when their car was rammed by a pick-up truck.

The driver of the truck has been charged with driving while intoxicated and is being held on a $1M bond.

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Risk Factors?

Being on Long Island is apparently one.

That may also include warm weather, sunny weekends, and being near the water.

Making U-turns on a busy street may be yet another.

The Times reports that in 2013, 79 people were killed in alcohol related crashes in Nassau and Suffolk counties.

Nationally, alcohol and autos are a deadly mix.

Alcohol is involved in 1/3 of auto fatalities in the US: 10,076 in 2013.

Half the child passengers killed in 2013 were riding with a drunk driver.

Most at Risk?

Not surprisingly, youth.

Nascent judgment skills are not not improved with the addition of impairing substances.

But, beware the aging motorcycle rider.

Nearly half of the alcohol-impaired motorcyclists killed each year are age 40 or older, and motorcyclists ages 40-44 have the highest percentage of deaths with BACs of 0.08% or greater (44%).

And, no real surprise that, “Drivers with a BAC of 0.08% or higher involved in fatal crashes were six times more likely to have a prior conviction for DWI than were drivers with no alcohol in their system.”

A Dual Strategy

Substances such as alcohol and drugs which diminish driving skills are proven killers.

Avoiding them is commonsense.

But so is defensive and cautious driving.

Operate that vehicle as if everyone out there is a little tipsy.

Many of them are.

Stay safe.

 

Sources:  CDC, Times, NYDN

 

 

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