A report published in early July finds high rates of fatal crashes involving drugged drivers and that alcohol-impaired drivers are more likely to cause traffic deaths and injuries.
The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute partners with the Indiana University Public Policy Institute to analyze crash statistics for the annual Alcohol-Impaired Driving Fact Sheet, which is available at www.in.gov/cji/files/Impaired_Driving_Fact_Sheet2018.pdf.
After a crash involving death or serious bodily injury, the responding law enforcement agency is required to offer a portable breath test or blood test to the drivers involved. In 2018, more drivers tested positive for drugs after a fatal crash than were alcohol-impaired.
Alcohol-impaired drivers were involved in 1.6 percent of Indiana property damage crashes and 3.2 percent of injury crashes, but fully 8 percent of fatal crashes. Rates of alcohol-impaired crashes in Indiana were highest on weekends between midnight and 4 a.m., the same time when the rate of traffic deaths and serious injuries were highest.
Vehicle drivers made up two-thirds of road users killed in alcohol-impaired crashes, and about three fourths of alcohol-impaired drivers in fatal crashes were males.
Motorcycles are about 3 percent of registered vehicles, but are dramatically overrepresented in impaired driving crashes. And the more that bikers are impaired, the less likely they are to wear helmets.
Sober driving tips
With all of today’s options for getting home safely, there’s no excuse for getting behind the wheel impaired. Law enforcement recommends these safe alternatives to impaired driving.
Designate, or be, a sober driver or use public transportation, a cab or ridesharing service. Download the SaferRide mobile app.
Celebrations should be in familiar places, with plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages as an option. Never provide alcohol to minors. Ask young drivers about their plans; take their keys, as well as those from anyone drinking.
Report impaired drivers
If you see an impaired driver, turn off the road away from the vehicle and call 911. Signs of impaired driving include swerving, drifting or straddling the center line, driving slowly or on the wrong side of the road, braking frequently or stopping, slow response times, wide – sometimes abrupt – turns, and night driving without headlights.
Sober drivers should also watch for impaired pedestrians who may not be paying attention to their surroundings.