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NHTSA Reveals 2010 Auto Accident Data

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released 2010 data on auto accident fatalities and the information revealed some alarming facts.

Out of the 10,228 auto fatalities in 2010, the NHTSA indicates that nearly one in three deaths were from drunk drivers. Moreover, nearly two thirds of drunk driving deaths involved drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.15 or higher.

The most frequently recorded BAC among drunk drivers was 0.18 BAC-way above the legal limit. In all states, including Iowa, it is illegal to drive with blood alcohol content of 0.08 or higher.

One piece of good news relates to commercial drivers. They scored the lowest among all drivers found with a BAC. Out of all truck drivers involved in fatal accidents, 3 percent had a BAC above zero and 2 percent had a BAC above 0.08.

The statistics could mean that the implementation of stricter trucking regulations are paying off.

Federal trucking regulations require that motor carrier operators conduct pre-employment alcohol and post-accident alcohol tests on their drivers to ensure safe operation of vehicles. Trucking companies are also required to maintain drivers' files containing their past violations. Apart from these, there are strict physical and procedural qualification standards for drivers of long, combination vehicles.

Source: The Trucker News Services, "Three percent of fatal truck accidents in 2010 involved alcohol," Aug. 14, 2012

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