To the editor:
Memorial Day weekend to the end of Labor Day weekend is a 100-day period that embraces vacation time, travel time, and nice weather. Seen from another angle, lots of folks are driving, some of the drivers are impaired.
In 2011, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 9,878 people were killed and approximately 350,000 Americans were injured. The price tag for these statistics? $132 billion.
But let’s dig a little deeper. Let’s say that 10 people per fatality are affected. Affected how? Probably upset, scared, anxious, worried, angry and lots of other emotions. So, at a conservative estimate, 98,780 people were affected by these 2011 American deaths.
Doing the math for the injured, we now have 3,500,000 people affected, plus the 98,780 from fatalities, for a grand total of 3,598,780. Let’s round it off to 3.6 million Americans affected by impaired driving during 2011.
If you drive impaired, whether it’s from alcohol (80 percent of DUIs), or a combination of other drugs, you will add to this 3.6 million total.
If you drive impaired you will have legal costs, skyrocketing insurance costs, maybe medical costs, and job-related expenses. Your family and everyone who knows you will be affected. But more importantly, especially if you harm someone else, you will feel the shame, hurt and despair that comes with knowing you could have prevented these results — by driving in a clear, alert condition.
Do not add to the statistics for 2013. Do not put yourself through the hell of knowing you endangered your life and the lives of others, needlessly. Do not initiate a ripple effect that will inject more suffering, pain, and anguish into a multitude of lives.
For more background information on impaired driving, please go to the Impaired Driving Impact Panel of Island County (IDIPIC) website: http://idipic.org.
This year, IDIPIC hopes to raise awareness and funds during this dangerous season (the 100 Days of Summer), with KISS — Keep It a Safe Summer. There is a long list of Island County sponsors, our Partners in Prevention, and they can be found on our website.
If you wish to participate in IDIPIC’s mission or this campaign, please contact IDIPIC at 672-8219 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are all in this together, and your support, in any form, can help prevent these tragedies. Thank you.