A recent study conducted by researchers at New York University found that states with more numerous and punitive drunk driving laws tend to have fewer traffic deaths than those without them. The study was published in the journal Public Health and was designed to explore the effectiveness of increased emphasis on passing and strictly enforcing traffic safety laws.
The study narrowed down the list of laws that it would analyze to 27, ranging from things such as child safety seat regulations to DUI fines. These 27 laws were meant to represent the larger goal by states to make roads safer for citizens. The goal of the study was to try and find out if there was a relationship between the implementation of these traffic safety laws and the state’s overall traffic fatality rate.
One of the first interesting things discovered by the NYU researchers is that the number of states passing and enforcing these kinds of laws, especially those concerning drunk driving, have increased enormously over the past several decades. The article notes that between 1980 and 2010 the percentage of states enforcing such laws increased from 7.7 percent to 59 percent, proof of a serious shift in the law enforcement world.
The study’s lead researcher divided all the states into four groups, comparing the traffic fatality rates of the top quartile with those on the lower end. The results showed that those states that applied the most of the 27 laws saw real improvements in terms of driver safety over the past thirty years. This increase in safety came despite the rise of personal electronic technology that makes distracted driving a much more pervasive danger today than ever before. The findings showed that the states with the strictest and most numerous traffic safety laws had 14.5 percent fewer traffic deaths than those at the bottom of the list. Even the states in the second lowest quartile saw five percent fewer traffic deaths than those in the bottom quartile.
The study found that though generally tougher traffic rules led to safety, those revolving around alcohol consumption were most strongly associated with lower motor vehicle fatality rates. Interestingly, the study also found that states with high unemployment rates suffered from increased motor vehicle fatality rates, rates that stayed high regardless of how many safety regulations were passed.
As a result of the survey, the authors of the study concluded that those states that have not yet implemented strict traffic safety regulations, especially concerning drunk driving, are costing lives every year. The researchers say their methods clearly demonstrate that traffic regulations aimed at changing individual behavior regarding consumption of alcohol do work to lower traffic deaths. Whether the scientific study will ever lead to concrete legal changes remains to be seen.
Hiring a Minnesota DUI Criminal Vehicular Attorney
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol that results in injury or death to another individual is a very serious matter that requires the assistance of a skilled DWI attorney. If you find yourself in a situation where you have been charged with an alcohol related driving offense, contact an experienced criminal lawyer immediately. The attorneys on our team have a tremendous amount of experience successfully representing citizens of Minnesota charged with all levels of offenses including criminal vehicular operation.
Source: “More Drunk Driving Laws Lead To Fewer Traffic-Related Deaths,” by Chris Weller, published at MedicalDaily.com.