Mad MADD & Bad Math

MADD claims that they have saved 67,000 lives from drinking drivers.  They are nothing but the unwitting and ignorant agents of three branches of government dominated by lawyers dedicated to enriching themselves, creating the Perfect Totalitarian State  in the process.  MADD's press releases state "half of all accidents are caused by drinking drinking drivers".   Unfortunately for MADD, the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) data reports that only 17.6% of fatal crashes involve drivers with a BAC of 0.1% or higher and 23.3% with BAC greater than 0.01% [read: not "caused by", merely "related to", alcohol].  To further destroy the credibility of advocacy groups like MADD, the FARS (Fatal Accident Reporting System ) reports that only 10% of all fatal accidents are "alcohol involved".  To really make the argument interesting, the slightly less politicized Statistical Abstract of the United States suspends all credibility for MADD by documenting police reports showing only 4% of all traffic accidents are "alcohol involved".   They paid particular attention to the 5.7% of drivers who had a BAC between 0.01% to 0.09%, so it is striking that MADD "forgot" that 76.7% of these drivers had no alcohol in their  blood whatsoever.  As you read on, you will discover for the first time in your life the shocking methodology by which FARS more than doubles data from actual police reports and how NHTSA more than quadruples that data with nary a naysayer in government. Get ready for the ride of your life--you are now going to learn how to create a Totalitarian State.


MADD's favorite headline is "MADD helped reduce drunk driving by 35% " which may be perfectly true.  But it is also perfectly misleading because it ignores some even more significant and revealing data that between 1982 and 1996, as the number of "alcohol-related fatal crashes" decreased by 7,621, the number of "non-alcohol-related fatal crashes" increased by 8,385.  This is robbing Peter to pay Paul, or pounding groundhog heads at Chuckee Cheese--the more you pound the faster they pop up.   "Yes", fewer people are drinking and driving, but also "yes" they are having more fatal accidents than ever before anyway--764 more of them each year.  "MADD" is definitely an apt acronym for such an organization.


A closer examination is required to head off any more "advocates" from popping up who may proclaim from the rooftops that the non-drinking driver is out of control, that fatal accidents by non-drinking drivers increased by a whopping 24%, that all of the gains made by MADD were wiped out by those inconsiderate males who used to drink and drive but who now have even more fatal accidents while they are sober (probably just to discredit the worthy mothers of MADD)!   We just don't need any more advocates offering to protect us from ourselves, especially with federal dollars.  The actual decrease in the crash fatality rate from 1982 to 1996 saves 6,192 lives per year, which is 1,429 fewer lives than MADD claims they saved from drunk drivers, so obviously there are other factors involved.  It's not clear from a simple overview of the data that MADD played any constructive role whatsoever.  If all of the claims from other advocacy groups described in NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) Report DOT HS 808 770 are true, like advocates for speed limits who claim to save 5,679 lives per year, advocates for the minimum age drinking laws who claim to save 846 lives per years, motorcycle helmets which save 486 lives, air bags which save 4,111 lives, seat belts which save 10,750 lives, there would have been a grand total of 12,414 traffic fatalities rather than 41,907.  In other words, these organizations claimed to have saved 29,494 lives, but the actual decrease in the fatality rate saved only 6,192 lives.  How valid is MADD's claim that reducing drinking driving saves lives?  Is there even a shred of truth to this obvious contortion of the data? 


New Laws Traffic Fatalities NHTSA Claims Were Saved By New Laws
Drinking & Driving Laws


Safety Belt Laws


Air Bag Laws


Minimum Age Drinking Laws


Motorcycle Helmet Laws




Actual Lives Saved by Reduction in Rate


Amount By Which Advocates' Claims Exceed Reality


Number Attributable to Reduced Drinking & Driving


Increase in Heart Disease Deaths Due to Reduced Alcohol Consumption


Net Increase in Loss of Life Due to Reduced Alcohol Consumption



A close look at the text of the articles which repeat MADD's mantra shows that no responsible agency is making a claim anywhere close to that.  USA Today repeated the mantra in its headlines, but the text of their own article disputed the headline itself.  A quick call to the editor of USA Today confirmed that he is aware of this, that the writer of their articles is a different person than the writer of their headlines, and that they both have "valid opinions".  ok, so much for critical thinking at USA Today, who thinks it's ok for a writer to stretch the truth to the brink and for the headline writer to throw it off the cliff.  He knows that none of the data from government statistical agencies support those headlines and so does the author of the article and the separate author of the headline.


Why do non-drinkers who constitute only two out of five Americans have so many accidents (almost four out of five) while drinkers with small traces of alcohol in their blood have so few (one out of five)?  Is the drinker who drives with small traces of alcohol really that much better a driver than the non-drinker?  To answer that, you need to know that 66 million American men, one third of all licensed drivers, have a BAC greater than 0.01% for half of their waking day.  The FAA has warned us pilots for almost half a century now that the alcohol from one drink remains in your body for 24 hours, which is how it justifies some very strict drinking policies involving flying within 8 hours of having a drink. How many people from the general population have these remnants of alcohol 24 hours after they drink, and why is the non-drinking driver responsible for more than three quarters of all accidents?  Per capita alcohol consumption of 270 million Americans is 1.8 gallons, which is 486 million gallons or 62 billion ounces of ethanol alcohol per year.   Since forty percent of the 205 million Americans over age 18 report in the Gallup Poll that they don't drink, there are 82 million non-drinkers, and 123 million of us drinkers who each consume an average of 504 ounces per year, or 1.4 ounces per day.   Most 12 ounce cans of beer contain 5% of alcohol, or .6 ounces, so this is the equivalent of each of 123 million Americans consuming more than two beers per day, 365 days per year, year after year. Those who may have a temporary lapse of judgement and miss a few days, thus having no trace of blood in their alcohol system (or vice versa) for days at a time could skew the average, but not by more than 5%.  The Gallup Poll shows that the 64 million women over the age of 18 who drink consume only 28.6% of the alcohol, which is an average of .8 ounces each per day.  Thus, 59 million men over age 18 consume an average of 2 ounces of alcohol per day each, which is the equivalent of more than three beers each per day. 

The FAA reports that it takes an average of one hour for a healthy person to eliminate a third of an ounce of alcohol, so 2 ounces of alcohol is enough to keep the BAC of each of 64 million American men higher than 0.01% for 6  hours each day, 365 days per year.


If alcohol is such a major factor in traffic accidents, why do the police, who are under such great political pressure to eliminate drinking and driving, who are placed at unconstitutional roadblocks in the middle of the night to impress upon them the "dangers of drinking and driving", who work for a justice system which "earns" $10,000 for a drunk driving arrest, report that only 4% of all fatal crashes are "alcohol-involved" (US Statistical Abstract, Table 1041):
sausalcoholpolice.pdf ?  Could this many men be avoiding the roads and highways for that 6 hours per day?  If they are more likely to have a traffic accident when they have been drinking, then why do so many have fatal crashes when they have NOT been drinking?

Answer:  the non-drinker is 36 times more likely to have a fatal crash than the drinker, or alcohol is not a factor and drinkers are more likely to crash when they haven't been drinking than when they have been.


This is the warning statement you get when reading NHTSA data:

Alcohol Test Result statistical data obtained from this database should be interpreted with caution. Alcohol Test Results included in this database are actual state-reported data. Estimates obtained by use of this query system may differ from NHTSA's published reports. NHTSA's published estimates are based on data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). Unfortunately, known BAC test results are not available for all drivers and nonoccupants involved in fatal crashes. Missing data can result for a number of reasons, the most frequent of which is that persons are not always tested for alcohol.

To address the missing data issue, NHTSA has developed and employs a statistical model to estimate the likelihood that a fatal crash-involved driver or nonoccupant was sober (BAC of zero), had some alcohol (BAC of 0.01-0.09), or was intoxicated (BAC of 0.10 or greater) at the time of the crash. The statistical model is based on important characteristics of the crash including crash factors, vehicle factors, and person factors. The published estimates are a combination of actual BAC test results and estimates based on this model.

Information on state alcohol estimates are available from the National Center for Statistics and Analysis, NRD-31, 400 Seventh Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20590. Telephone inquiries should be addressed to Ms. Louann Hall at (202) 366-4198. FAX messages should be sent to (202) 366-7078, or via E-mail to Ms. Louann Hall (click here).

When you see a warning statement like this from this US government, you are required to instantly suspend all critical thinking, enter a Disneyland-like trance, accept that the powers that be know new math better than you, and "trust us" to protect you from yourself.  When you hear "statistical model ... based on person factors", you must remember not to believe the police reports, because "everybody knows the police lie", and "everyone knows that drinking alcohol and driving is a deadly combination", and "it's impossible that only 4% of all fatal accidents are 'alcohol-involved' so the police reports are obviously flawed".  So NHTSA did a conservative correlation between drivers who they KNOW have a BAC greater than 0.01% and the number actually involved in fatal crashes, and just assumed that when the police report "alcohol-involved is unknown" that  they are lying and that the crash was "probably alcohol-involved" after all.  The police do lie.  More than likely they already doubled the number--alcohol-related crashes were probably only 2% of all crashes before they tweaked the data to get 4%.   And as you have already seen, the "statistical factor" used by NHTSA for the percent of drivers with a BAC greater than 0.01% should have been 60%, not 23.3%.


Even in the face all of this data which shows what a dangerous driver the non-drinker is, MADD embarked on this campaign to create even more of them, destroying our Constitution in the process.  Draconian measures of all kinds were set up: stopping drivers without probable cause, roadblocks in the middle of the night, extracting bodily fluids, requiring embarassing gymnastics along the road or in front of your friends, imprisoning men, not for having an accident but merely on the fraudulent speculation that the probability of having an accident is increased by drinking (even though they might not have had an accident in the previous forty years).  1.2% of the 138 million Americans who drink 1.3 ounces of alcohol per day (1.6 million of them) are arrested each year, not based on real accidents, but based on the sheer speculation that their probability of crashing increases when they drink.  Can this save lives?

23,615 drivers were stopped at 94 checkpoints in one month in Charlottesville, Virginia, 290 arrests were made, and police bragged that there was a 13% decrease in alcohol-related accidents--pounding more groundhogs on the head.  For every 100 citizens whose constitutional rights were suspended in the middle of the night, one was arrested and most likely converted into a non-drinking driver who is now three times more likely to have a fatal crash.  

This is a law which affects almost exclusively men, not because women don't drink and drive, but because women know they can sweet talk policement out of arresting them, which 95% of them do.  It serves the anti-male feminist agenda well that 95% of DUI arrests are men, because it makes women look so good that only 5% of them are arrested under this law.  If the table were turned and women were to become 95% of all arrests, this $20 billion national policy wouldn't last a New York second.  Punishing something that men don't do, based on the premise that they MIGHT do it, is justifiable because it gets even with men for the things that they actually do--earn all of the money.  Certainly they have enough collective consciousness to detect that a program which increases non-alchol-related fatalities by 764 more than it reduces alcohol-related fatalities is not exactly a raging $20 billion per year success?  This is truly a feminist's delight.  It is "progress, feminist style".

If you are one of the 64 million men who drink an average of 2.5 ounces of alcohol per day, it is impossible that there won't be occasions when you drive with a BAC greater than 0.01%.  It is highly likely that every one of them drives at least once a day with traces of alcohol in their blood, because there is no penalty (theoretically) for having a BAC between 0.01% and 0.08%.  If we accept MADD's premise that alcohol really impairs their ability to drive, then they are not likely to crash when their BAC is zero--they will crash when their BAC is 0.01%, or 0.08%, or .2%, or .3%.  This means that all of those drivers who crashed whose BAC was zero were the non-drinkers.  MADD mantra itself prevents us from including *any* of these drinkers in the 76.7% of accidents which they claim are not "alcohol-involved".  These accidents are, per MADD data, exclusively the domain of the non-drinkers of the country.   Thus, 96% of all accidents which are not alcohol-involved are between non-drinkers, and the 4% which are alcohol-involved include at least one driver who is a drinker.  This means that the non-drinker has 36 times as many accidents per mile driven as the drinker. 

Percent of All Drivers Percent of All Fatal Crashes Fatal Crashes:Drivers
Drinkers 60% 4% 0.067
Non-drinkers 40% 96% 2.4
Non-drinker:drinker 0.67 24 36X


Yes, draconian laws can change people's driving habits, but, no, it does not save lives.  When broken down by the hour of the day, the largest number of drivers in fatal crashes occurs at 5 pm (6,366 drivers) and the least number occurs at 4 am (1,837 drivers).  Even though 4-5 pm is quitting time for a majority of American workers, only 6% of all drivers are in fatal crashes which are "alchol-related" at that time, so the drinking driver can hardly be considered a major factor in traffic deaths at 5 pm.  Between 1-4 am almost a quarter of drivers are in fatal crashes which are "alcohol-involved".   Alcohol could be considered a factor in those crashes ONLY if less than 25% of all drivers between 1-4 am have a BAC greater than 0.01%.  But if more than 25% of all drivers on the road between 1-4 am have a BAC greater than 0.01%, and only 25% of them are involved in fatal crashes, then the drinking driver is a safer driver than the non-drinking driver. 

What are the main reason that people drive between 1-4 am?  Are they non-drinking drivers going to work or travelling across country.  Some are.   Are they mostly the 138 million Americans who drink, who are returning from restaurants, bars, or parties?  Yes.  Are they mostly the 66 million men who drink enough each day to keep their BAC above 0.01% for six hours each day?  Yes.   Does some percentage of those who drink who are driving between 1-4 am have a BAC lower than 0.01%?  Yes.  But half of the $200 billion per year restaurant business is liquor sales.  At $3.00 per drink, that is 33 billion drinks per year, which is a half a drink each day for each of the 138 million drinkers in the country.  Breaking this down by sex, this is one drink per day for each of the 66 million men who drink.  It is physically impossible for more than half of those driving home from restaurants between 1-4 am to have a BAC less than 0.01%.  More than half of all drivers between 1-4 am have a BAC greater than 0.01%, making the drinking driver is the safest driver by a considerable amount during those hours. 


The number of non-drinkers involved in fatal crashes by the hour increases 289% from 4 am to 5 pm (from 1,534 to 5,971 drivers), while the number of drinkers involved in accidents increases only 30%, from 305 to 395.   So the vast majority of the increase in the number of drivers involved in fatal crashes, a difference of 4,437 drivers, is due solely to the increase in traffic congestion.  The 90 driver increase in the number of drinking driver crashes during this time cannot be attributed to drinking alcohol, but only to increased traffic congestion.  Even making the absurd assertion that the complete elimination of the drinking driver would eliminate all of the 9,760 drivers involved in "alcohol-related" crashes, and that more groundhogs wouldn't pop up, this is a mere fraction of the lives which would be saved if the rate could be pegged at the 5 am rate of 1,934 drivers.  This would reduce the number of drivers in fatal crashes by 54%.  This isn't a theory--we know that NHTSA is so distracted by a campaign to eliminate drinking and driving, which has yet to save a single life, that it is ignoring solutions which could cut the 42,000 traffic fatalities per year in half.  We know for certain that solving the traffic congestion problem would save 22,000 lives each year if NHTSA just got off their high horse and focused on the correct issue for a change.
bulletMen have 42% more fatal or injury crashes, but drive 88% more miles, than women, 3.4 vs.2.5 crashes per million miles, a 35% difference.
bulletMen who drink and drive are one thirty sixth as likely to have a fatal crash as women drivers.
bulletIf all drivers were women there would be 84% more crashes than if all drivers were men, which would be 2,719,096 more crashes, which would increase costs $64 billion annually.
bulletRemoving female drivers would reduce the male accident rate by 20%, from 2.5 to 2.0 crashes per one million miles.
bulletOutlawing women drivers would save $55 billion per year and considerably increase men's longevity.
bulletMADD's success at reducing alcohol consumption increased male heart disease deaths by 30,000/year.
bulletFatal crash involvement of men decreased 20 percent while that for women increased 28 percent.
bulletWomen pilots have 4 times more crashes than men pilots.
bulletThis difference in hand/eye coordination is apparent in other sex differences


Traffic Safety Facts' "Vehicle Miles of Travel, 1975-1996" Americans drove 1,478 billion passenger car  miles in 1995.

"Early Results Report" of the Nationwide Personal Transportation Survey men drive 65% or 965 billion  and women drive 35% or 513 billion of those miles.

Traffic Safety Facts' "Drivers Involvement in Crashes" from the FARS data base male drivers were involved in 58.7% or  2,418,799 of all fatal and injury crashes, and female drivers were involved in 41.3% or 1,701,043.

Women have one third more fatal or injury crashes than men (3.35 vs. 2.49 per one million miles driven) and 17% more property damage only accidents (5.86 vs. 5.02)

National Safety Council economic cost of motor vehicle crashes in 1997 was $200 billion.

1994 Statistical Abstract of the United States Table No. 1041, police departments report 4% of all traffic crashes are "alcohol-involved"

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