Fort McCoy News December 13, 2013

December: National 3-D Prevention Month

December is designated as National Drunk, Drugged, and Distracted (3-D) Prevention Month by the Army Center for Substance Abuse Program (ACSAP).

Photo for 3D article
Gary Talbot, 88th Regional Support Command alcohol and drug control officer, and Gail R. Zuege, garrison drug test technician, teach a Unit Prevention Leaders Course. Photo by Rob Schuette

Fort McCoy's Army Substance Abuse Program, or ASAP, fully supports the 3-D Month campaign. Educational materials will be available at McCoy's, building 1571, throughout December.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 30 people in the United States die every day in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. This amounts to one death every 48 minutes.

Nationally, in the December months from 2007 to 2011, there were 4,169 people killed in crashes that involved drivers with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 grams per deciliter or higher.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 32,367 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes across the nation in 2011, and 31 percent (9,878) of those fatalities occurred in drunk-driving-related crashes.

3-D Month reminds motorists to "Designate Before We Celebrate," encouraging safe and sober driving.

Drugged driving on the road has increased due to two factors: first, the non-medical use of prescription drugs in the U.S.; and second, a significant increase in the number of young people who have experimented with and/or turned to marijuana. The main concern about drivers under the influence of drugs is the impairment of their motor skills, reaction time, and judgment. Overall, marijuana affects the areas of the brain that control motor skills, balance, coordination, memory and judgment, which add up to impaired driving skills.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health conducted a survey and released its findings that in 2009 approximately 10.5 million people drove under the influence of illicit drugs.

Distracted driving has become a deadly epidemic on America's roads. Eating, dialing, talking, texting, or other distractions while driving threaten the safety of everyone on the road. In 2009, almost 5,500 people were killed and 500,000 people were injured in accidents related to distracted driving. Sixteen percent of all fatal crashes and 20 percent of all injury crashes for that year were due to some form of distracted driving.

One in five of those deaths involved operating a cell phone while driving. A study by Virginia Tech Transportation Tech Institute revealed that dialing a phone while driving increases the risk of a crash by as much as six fold.

Texting is riskier yet, increasing the collision risk by 23 times. Remember to "Designate Before We Celebrate" to drive sober and alert during the December 2013 holidays, and throughout the new year!

The 3-D/Fort McCoy ASAP point of contact is Gail R. Zuege, Directorate of Human Resources/ASAP, drug test technician, 1344 S. 11th Ave., who also can be reached at 608-388-5955/2441.

(Submitted by Fort McCoy's Army Substance Abuse Program.)