The concept of a designated driver is not new. For many decades, drivers may have been informally deciding that one person would abstain from drinking and be responsible for driving. However, it was in 1988 that the Harvard Alcohol Project officially launched a mass communications campaign and introduced America to the designated driver. The purpose of the campaign was to reduce alcohol-related traffic deaths, which were the leading cause of deaths for young adults in the late 1980s.

New Research Suggests That a Designated Driver Is Not Always a Safe Driver

For the past 25 years, designated drivers have been seen as the answer to preventing drunk driving crashes in Iowa and around the nation. However, a new study suggests that a designated driver may not always be the safe driver that we expect. Specifically, the designated driver study found that:

  • About 35 percent of designated driver had drunk alcohol before getting behind the wheel. Most had blood alcohol levels high enough to interfere with safe driving.
  • Some groups choose a designated driver based on criteria other than sobriety. Specifically, they may choose a driver who has driven while intoxicated in the past and avoided an accident or they may choose the driver who has had the least to drink.

Part of the problem may be that there is no universally accepted definition of a “designated driver” in Iowa or elsewhere in the United States.

Call an Iowa Car Accident Lawyer If You’ve Been Hurt in a Drunk Driving Crash

Drunk driving accidents may continue to be a problem in the United States, even when people chose a designated driver. If you have been hurt in a drunk driving accident then it is important to know your rights and to know what to do to protect your possible recovery. Please contact an experienced Iowa car accident attorney today at 563-275-6892 or 888-807-2752. Additionally, we invite you to read our FREE book, The Ultimate Guide for Automobile Accident Victims, to learn more about what to do to protect yourself after an Iowa drunk driving accident.

Jason F. Abraham
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Helping car accident and personal injury victims throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa since 1993.