Although a great deal of attention has been focused recently on the trendy topic of distracted driving, its effects are still dwarfed by those caused by driving under the influence.
With that in mind, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will hold a two-day forum on substance-impaired driving with the objective to identify actions needed to eliminate related deaths and injuries on American roadways.
“Reaching Zero: Actions to Eliminate Substance-Impaired Driving,” (May 15-16, 2012, in Washington, D.C.) will be moderated by NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman, who said it's time for the U.S. to take a fresh look at the issue.
“There is no other transportation safety issue in America that kills as many people as substance-impaired driving - more than 10,000 last year alone,” said Hersman.
The NTSB has not produced a new safety recommendation on the subject in more than a decade. That's roughly the same amount of time that the percentage of those killed in accidents caused by substance-impaired drivers has remained unchanged.
“Substance-impaired driving deaths – once about half of all traffic fatalities – still account for one in three roadway deaths,” said Hersman. “When so much progress has been made in other areas of highway safety, why are substance-impaired driving fatalities stuck at one third? And what needs to be done to reach zero?”
Representatives from academia, research and advocacy organizations, industry, and state and federal agencies will serve as panelists for the forum.
The forum is free and open to the public. Advance registration is not required. In addition, it will be webcast live on ntsb.gov.