New App Tries Reducing Drunk Driving Deaths


A news article from NR Today, an Oregon newspaper, reported the Oregon Department of Transportation is pushing a new smartphone application that hopes to help impaired drivers get home safely. Read more here.

In short, the app, titled SaferRide, is a mobile phone program developed by the NHTSA and allows users to call a taxi or a friend. It shows the app users their location so they can easily be picked up.

New data from NHTSA shows that drunk driving deaths declined by 2.5 percent in 2013. Yet, even with this decrease from the previous year, 10,076 people died in crashes involving a drunk driver in 2013 — one death every 52 minutes. December 2013 was the month with the lowest number of drunk driving fatalities, 733 lives lost.

“This app easily and simply helps someone who is impaired get a ride or summon friends and do what it takes to get home safely,” said Dan Estes, DUII program manager for ODOT, in a release. “This app can accomplish a lot, and people need to know it’s available.”

Impaired driving can come from alcohol, over the counter or prescription drugs, illegal or recreational drugs, or other substances.

Representatives from ODOT, Clackamas County, Washington County, Oregon Impact, the City of Portland, OLCC, TriMet, OHSU ThinkFirst, AAA, Oregon Health Authority and Trauma Nurses Talk Tough came up with the idea while brainstorming ideas to tackle Oregon’s rise in crashes.

The app is available for Android devices on Google Play and Apple devices on the iTunes store.

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