NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs


April 3, 2012

WASHINGTON - The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will hold a two-day forum on substance-impaired driving with the objective to identify actions needed to eliminate related deaths and injuries on American roadways.

"Reaching Zero: Actions to Eliminate Substance-Impaired Driving," (May 15-16, 2012, in Washington, D.C.) will be the first forum that the NTSB has held to examine the topic. NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman will moderate the forum, and the other four Board Members will participate.

"There is no other transportation safety issue in America that kills as many people as substance-impaired driving - more than 10,000 last year alone," said Chairman Hersman. "It's time for us, as a country, to take a fresh look at this issue. It is a national safety challenge that can be solved."

Substance-impaired driving has been a concern of the Board for more than 40 years. Even though the NTSB has conducted special safety studies and produced dozens of accident reports that have generated more than 100 safety recommendations on the issue, the Board has not produced a new safety recommendation on substance-impaired driving in more than 10 years.

And while traffic deaths from all causes dropped from 43,510 in 2005 to 32,885 in 2010, the percentage of those killed involving a substance-impaired driver has remained unchanged for more than a decade.

"Substance-impaired driving deaths - once about half of all traffic fatalities - still account for one in three roadway deaths," said Hersman. "When so much progress has been made in other areas of highway safety, why are substance-impaired driving fatalities stuck at one third? And what needs to be done to reach zero?"

Representatives from academia, research and advocacy organizations, industry, and state and federal agencies will serve as panelists for the forum.

The forum is open to the public, there is no cost to attend, and it requires no advance registration. In addition, it will be webcast live on ntsb.gov.

A draft agenda and list of participants will be announced in a future press release.

If you have any questions or concerns on the day of the forum, NTSB's public affairs specialists will be available to assist. For immediate questions, please contact Peter Knudson at (202) 314-6100 or peter.knudson@ntsb.gov.



The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.