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Promoting Safe Driving

Every 30 minutes, someone in the United States dies as a result of impaired driving. Every two minutes, someone is injured in an alcohol-related accident. In order to raise awareness about this serious problem, December has been designated National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month.

This month is particularly dangerous on the roads due to more traffic and a high incidence of alcohol and drug-related traffic crashes. During December 2009, drunk or drugged drivers killed 753 people in traffic crashes.

First designated so in 1982 by President Ronald Reagan, National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month highlights the problems that may occur when someone consumes alcohol or takes drugs -- either legal or illegal -- and then gets behind the wheel. Encourage everyone to drive responsibly -- even if that means choosing not to drive when impaired or not to get into a car with a driver who isn't clear-headed.

Additionally, encourage drivers not to use electronic devices -- even with the use of hands-free technology -- while behind the wheel. Earlier this week, the National Transportation and Safety Board released their recommendation that non-emergency use of personal electronic devices should be banned for drivers because of how often they contribute to accidents.

Science NetLinks has a great collection of resources related to alcohol, including The Science Inside Alcohol Project E-Book. We also offer a number of resources related to impaired driving including the lesson Driving while Distracted and Science Update podcasts on Driving and Talking, Cell Phones & Driving, and Talking & Driving.

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