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Michigan seeing decrease in drunk driving fatalities

Regular readers of this blog know that fatal drunk driving accidents are still a scourge on our communities, ending the lives of family members and friends in accidents that are almost completely preventable. It simply requires drivers to follow the simple advice of not getting behind the wheel of a car after they have been drinking. While even one drunk driving accident in Michigan is one too many, a new study reports an encouraging decrease in the number of fatal and injury-causing drunk driving accidents over the past few years.

The study found that in 2001 there were 419 fatal alcohol related accidents. By last year that number had dropped to 264, according to the Detroit News. Injury causing accidents in which alcohol was a factor also dropped substantially, declining 38 percent between 2001 and 2010.

There does not appear to be one single factor that is thought to be responsible for the decrease. One factor, and hopeful the most major one, is that each individual is making more responsible decisions about whether they should drive under the influence of alcohol. Additional factors are thought to include improved roadway and motor vehicle safety. Even the downturn in the economy may have played a role, as people are driving less and possible going out to Michigan bars and taverns less often because of a reduction in the average amount of disposable income.

While these statistics are encouraging, they do little to console the families of those who have been killed in an accident involving a drunk driver. 264 is less than 419, but it is still 264 too many.

Source: The Detroit News, "Drunken driving crashes plummet," Charles Ramirez, Dec. 26, 2011

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