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Seven traffic safety and health advocacy organizations unite to announce new initiative to end impaired driving

ARLINGTON, VA., Dec. 21, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, seven traffic safety and health advocacy organizations joined together for the first time to announce a new initiative in the effort to end impaired driving. The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), National Safety Council (NSC), National Sleep Foundation, RADD; the Entertainment Industry's Voice for Road Safety (RADD), the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (Responsibility.org), and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) released a new video public service announcement to remind Americans that driving impaired – in any form – is dangerous and preventable.

"An impaired driver is a dangerous driver. We need to be focused on the 'four D's' – drunk, drugged, distracted and drowsy," said Dr. Mark Rosekind, Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The campaign emphasizes a comprehensive approach to impaired driving. The cornerstone of the effort is a PSA, which can be found at www.EndImpairedDriving.org. The site encourages individuals to share an advocacy message to #EndImpairedDriving.

Jonathan Adkins, Executive Director of GHSA, added, "As the PSA says, 'in a perfect world, impaired driving wouldn't exist.' All impairments are dangerous and preventable. I'm proud to join forces with these partners to remind the public that they hold the keys when it comes to making positive choices behind the wheel."

Drunk Driving



In 2014, 31 percent of traffic fatalities involved a drunk driver. Drunk driving fatalities have decreased 27 percent from 2005 to 2014 but the percentage of overall fatalities has remained flat.
NHTSA, Traffic Safety Facts 2014 Crash Data Key Findings, November 2015. DOT HS 812 219

Drugged Driving

Twenty-three percent of night-time drivers tested positive for illegal, prescription or over-the-counter medications (based on the combined results of oral fluid and blood tests or both).
NHTSA, Results of the 2013-14 National Roadside Survey, 2015. DOT HS 812 118

Distracted Driving

In 2014, 3,179 people (10 percent of overall traffic fatalities) were killed in crashes involving distracted drivers.
NHTSA, Traffic Safety Facts 2014 Crash Data Key Findings, November 2015. DOT HS 812 219

Drowsy Driving

In 2014, nearly three percent of all traffic fatalities involved a drowsy driver, and at least 846 people were killed in crashes involving a drowsy driver.
NHTSA, Traffic Safety Facts 2014 Crash Data Key Findings, November 2015. DOT HS 812 219

A national survey commissioned by one of the groups, Responsibility.org, found Americans identify distractions (texting, talking on phone, eating, etc.) and alcohol as the leading impairments to a driver's ability to safely operate a motor vehicle (87 percent and 83 percent, respectively). Four out of five respondents (79 percent) believe drivers distracted by texting, talking or multi-tasking while driving pose the most danger on the roads, ahead of drunk drivers (68 percent), drivers who fail to observe/obey traffic laws (speeding, red lights, etc.) (55 percent), drivers under the influence of drugs (53 percent), drowsy drivers (42 percent), teen/inexperienced drivers (33 percent), elderly drivers (24 percent), and improperly maintained vehicles (21 percent).

Responsibility.org tested the initial PSA video concept and messaging in focus groups, and participants agreed the positive tone and uplifting message of the "End Impaired Driving" video delivers the message that people need to get involved to stop impaired driving. Focus group participants believed modeling proper driving behavior and stressing the importance of personal responsibility to the next generation of drivers is an appealing way to communicate the importance of making positive choices when driving.

The #EndImpairedDriving campaign will run throughout 2016.

About the Consumer Healthcare Products Association

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) is the 134-year-old trade association representing the leading manufacturers and marketers of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and dietary supplements. CHPA members provide millions of Americans with accessible, affordable, and trusted therapies that provide around-the-clock relief to every-day ailments.

About the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility

The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (Responsibility.org) is a national not-for-profit that leads the fight to eliminate drunk driving and underage drinking and is funded by the following distillers: Bacardi U.S.A., Inc.; Beam Suntory Inc.; Brown-Forman; Constellation Brands, Inc.; DIAGEO; Edrington; Hood River Distillers, Inc.; and Pernod Ricard USA. For nearly 25 years, Responsibility.org has transformed countless lives through programs that bring individuals, families and communities together to guide a lifetime of conversations around alcohol responsibility. To learn more, please visit us at Responsibility.org.

About the Governors Highway Safety Association

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) is a nonprofit association representing the highway safety offices of states, territories, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. GHSA provides leadership and representation for the states and territories to improve traffic safety, influence national policy, enhance program management and promote best practices. Its members are appointed by their Governors to administer federal and state highway safety funds and implement state highway safety plans. Contact GHSA at 202-789-0942 or visit www.ghsa.org. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GHSAhq or follow us on Twitter at @GHSAHQ.

About the National Safety Council

For 100 years, the National Safety Council has been the leading safety advocate preventing unintentional injuries and death. The National Safety Council saves lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the roads through leadership, research, education and advocacy.

About the National Sleep Foundation

The National Sleep Foundation is dedicated to improving health and well-being through sleep education and advocacy. It is well-known for its annual Sleep in America® poll. The Foundation is a charitable, educational and scientific not-for-profit organization located in Washington, DC. Its membership includes researchers and clinicians focused on sleep medicine, health professionals, patients, families affected by drowsy driving and more than 900 healthcare facilities.

About Recording Artists, Actors and Athletes Against Drunk Driving

Recording Artists, Actors and Athletes Against Drunk Driving is an internationally recognized non-profit organization that empowers celebrities and media partners to create positive attitudes about road safety. Founded in 1986, RADD advocates the use of designated drivers, seatbelts and safe driving through control behind the wheel, making responsible behavior the norm. RADD's messages are non-judgmental, hip and positive.

About SADD

For 35 years, SADD, Inc. has been committed to empowering young people to take control of their lives, make healthy and safe life decisions and become positive peer influencers in their schools and communities. Founded as Students Against Driving Drunk in 1981, SADD is the nation's premier youth health and safety organization, with thousands of chapters in middle schools, high schools, and colleges. For more information, visit SADD online at sadd.org or follow SADD on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.

Contact: Leslie Kimball, 202-445-7122
Leslie.Kimball@responsibility.org

CONTACT: Leslie Kimball Leslie.Kimball@responsibility.org

Source:Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility