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About the Toolkit

Alcohol-impaired driving crashes still account for one-third of all traffic-related deaths in the United States. The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes totals more than $44 billion. Facts such as these continue to drive efforts in communities around the country to reduce driving under the influence. CADCA, through the support of NHTSA, has developed an Impaired Driving Resource Kit to aid community efforts with the latest research and evidence-based strategies.

CADCA’s Impaired Driving Resource Kit is designed to provide coalitions, law enforcement partners and drug prevention practitioners with strategies to prevent and reduce impaired driving in their communities. Equipped with the findings from key research in the field, the Resource Kit’s Impaired Driving Prevention Strategies highlight CADCA’s 7 Strategies for Effective Community Change, with an emphasis on an environmental approach, and detail specific evidence-based policy interventions. Grounded in the field of public health, environmental strategies offer well-accepted prevention approaches that coalitions can use to change the context (or environment) in which impaired driving occurs.

The Resource Kit offers a variety of strategies aimed at changing or influencing community conditions, standards, institutions, systems and policies.

Impaired Driving Facts-at-a-Glance

Alcohol-Impaired Driving Facts

The estimated economic cost of all motor vehicle traffic crashes in the United States in 2010 (the most recent year for which cost data is available) was $242 billion, of which $44 billion resulted from alcohol-impaired-driving crashes.

Blincoe, L. J., Miller, T. R., Zaloshnja, E., & Lawrence, B. A. (2014, May). The economic and societal impact of motor vehicle crashes, 2010. (DOT HS 812 013). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. For more information, click here.

In 2018, 10,511 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes; an average of one alcohol-impaired-driving fatality occurred every 50 minutes.

National Center for Statistics and Analysis. (2019, December). Alcohol impaired driving: 2018 data (Traffic Safety Facts. Report No. DOT HS 812 864). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

From 2017 to 2018, fatalities in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes decreased by 3.6 percent (10,908 to 10,511 fatalities).

27% of drunk drivers in 2018 were young adults, aged 21-24 years old, and 26% were adults aged 25-34. In the same year, 24% of teens 15-20 who died in automobile accidents had alcohol in their system.

Drug-Impaired Driving Facts

In 2019, 13.7 million persons or 5.3% percent of the population aged 16 or older reported driving under the influence of select illicit drugs during the past year.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2020). Results from the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. PEP20-07-01-001, NSDUH Series H-55). Rockville, MD: Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov/data/

Across age groups, the rate of driving under the influence of illicit drugs in 2019 was highest among young adults aged 21 to 25, 13%.

(ibid.)

One study showed that drivers tested positive for THC did not think they had taken anything that affected their driving.

Lacey, J.H., Kelley-Baker, T., Romano, E., Brainard, K., Ramirez, A. (2012). Results of the 2012 California Roadside Survey of Nighttime Weekend Drivers’ Alcohol and Drug Use. Calverton, MD: Pacific Institute of Research and Evaluation. For more information, click here

Recent research suggests THC consumption, especially for non-frequent users, can affect drivers’ ability to control a vehicle and react to events on the road.

Desrosiers, Nathalie A., Ramaekers, Johannes G., Chauchard, Emeline, Gorelick, David A., Huestis, Marilyn A. (2015) “Smoked Cannabis’ Psychomotor and Neurocognitive Effects in Occasional and Frequent Smokers.” Journal of Analytical Toxicology, Volume 39, Issue 4, May 2015, Pages 251–261, https://doi.org/10.1093/jat/bkv012