For Immediate Release
November Crash Report Card
The November 2009 Crash Report Card for traffic crashes in Springfield from Jan. 1 through Nov. 30, 2009 shows eight fewer fatality crashes compared to the same time period last year (16). The number of injury crashes is up by 5 percent (to 1,915), and the total number of crashes thus far in 2009 is up 0.4 percent (to 6,779) compared to the same period last year.
December Safety Message
This month’s safety message addresses drunk driving, which historically has contributed to an increase in traffic crashes during the holidays. According to national studies, 32 percent of total traffic fatalities in 2008 involved an alcohol-impaired driver, claiming a total of 11,773 lives in one year. That amounts to an average of 32 people a day who die on American roads in a motor vehicle crash involving an alcohol-impaired driver.
In Missouri, there were 960 recorded fatalities in 2008, of which 27 percent involved a driver that had been drinking alcoholic beverages, killing 262 people.
In Springfield, this year through November 30, there have been eight fatalities, of which three involved some level of impaired driving, primarily due to alcohol consumption.
Springfield’s crash data for 2008 suggests that from Christmas Eve through New Years Day, there is a 60 percent higher chance of being involved in an alcohol-related crash than during the other weeks of the year. There is a significantly higher number of impaired drivers on the street during this particular time period.
On average, someone in the United States dies in an alcohol-related crash every 45 minutes. These deaths are tragic because they are avoidable and in many cases the victims themselves had not consumed alcohol. Therefore, motorists are advised not to drink and drive; keep your distance behind other vehicles (especially at night); and to watch out for violators of red traffic signals and stop signs. If you choose to consume alcohol at any time, it is your responsibility to plan ahead by calling a taxi or having a designated sober driver so that you do not have to drive.