Statement on Traffic Fatality Increases During COVID19

Today Rob Strassburger, President & CEO of the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety (ACTS), released the following statement about new data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showing an increase number of traffic fatalities during the COVID19 pandemic:

“This data shows a disturbing trend – drunk driving is not a thing of the past, and will continue to be our present and future if we don’t take smarter actions to combat it.

“DADSS technologies remain the most promising and expedient pathway for preventing drunk driving fatalities on a large scale, and ACTS is fully committed to making sure they are widely deployed in consumer vehicles as soon as possible.

“As we continue to meet critical milestones, we must ensure the program has the necessary resources and public support to complete its life-saving mission so we can prevent further grief for families affected by drunk driving.”

According to the new data:

– While Americans drove less in 2020 due to the pandemic, NHTSA’s early estimates show that an estimated 38,680 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes—the largest projected number of fatalities since 2007.

– Traffic fatalities in crashes involving alcohol from police-reported incidents are up 9% in 2020 compared to 2019.

More information on the data can be found here and here.


The Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) Program is a public-private partnership between the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety (ACTS), which represents the world’s leading automakers and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Public-private partnerships like DADSS have led to innovations that enhance our everyday lives, such as the Internet, GPS and the microchip. The Program is researching a first-of-its-kind technology called the alcohol detection system that will detect when a driver is impaired with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above 0.08%, and prevent a vehicle from moving. The Commonwealth of Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles has joined this program to support on-road testing and increase public awareness and acceptance of the technology through the Driven to Protect Initiative. For more information about the DADSS Program, visit

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