To hear the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and their loyalists spin the tale, drunk driving is the prime cause of motor vehicle accidents to be prevented at all costs. In their quest for a de facto prohibition on the consumption of alcohol within entertainment venues, sporting events or restaurants, such organizations are not always eager to acknowledge the results of governmental studies that cast a light on more significant causes of traffic accidents presently posing more realized dangers to the driving public.
The Center For Disease Control (CDC) has just come out with an alarming study as to the potential root cause behind thousands of motor vehicle accidents each year within the United States. As opposed to the notion that the self induced impairment of drivers either through the use of drugs and/or alcohol is the precipitating basis for car accidents to be curtailed, the new CDC study puts forth logical reasoning behind the true causes of traffic accidents; causes that will not allow for a new infusion of revenues encouraged to be funneled in the direction of anti alcohol organizations such as MADD.
Most dui lawyers will be ready and able to confirm that mere driver inattention and negligence is the primary cause of traffic accidents and not the voluntary impairment of illegal drugs or alcohol. As the CDC study makes poignantly clear, an astounding one in twenty four motorists have revealed that they have actually fallen asleep at the wheel of a motor vehicle at least once within the past month when driving.
In the broadest such study to date, it is theorized that the true number of those who sleep behind the wheel could be far greater. The numbers reported could be skewed lower due to divergent factors such as those who may have dozed off for a few seconds and don’t realize it, do not equate such behavior with sleep, or those who simply may have been reluctant to truthfully admit to examiners the full scope of their potential dangerous sleep behavior when behind the wheel of an operated motor vehicle.
The need for continued research and the reporting of accurate figures is vital as the percentage span of estimates equating drowsy driving to fatal traffic accidents range from three to thirty three percent. Of course, those in MADD and their cohorts will predictibly suggest that the consumption of alcohol could in fact be a contributing factor in driver drowsiness reported on within the CDC study.
While the contributing factors behind driver inattention due to drowsiness will be cause for future study, the CDC has initially chosen to advise American drivers as to the need to sleep at least seven hours per night and investigate any potential sleep disorders before driving.
As one experienced in the field of Indiana traffic law, it is my strongly held opinion that a combination of factors including, but not limited to, drowsiness, an increase in texting while driving, carrying on cell phone conversations, old age, insufficient driver training and good old negligence and inattention will with future study prove to be far more significant factors behind traffic accidents than drunk driving.
Drunk driving is and should continue to be one factor to be controlled in the effort to reduce the proliferation of traffic accidents wherever they may be. However, by disproportionately focusing on select dui tragedies at the expense of educating the driving public as to the more realized threats posed by negative driving behavior unrelated to dui, fund raising organizations such as MADD often show themselves to be more interested in preserving their own significance than embracing accurate information that will truly benefit the driving public.