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"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed
-- and hence clamorous to be led to safety --
by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."-- H.L. Mencken


GovMath (Government Math) & GovSpeak (Government Speech)

This page contains a lot of government language. It's quite illuminating. Read with patience.

Here is what our government has to say: Part 1. (See below for their new language in Part 2)
"In 2002, 17,970 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes, representing approximately 42 percent of the 42,850 total traffic fatalities."---NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), July, 2003

Now, here is the Fine Print:
This is the government's exact wording

of alcohol involvement in fatal crashes for the U.S. are based on data from NHTSA's Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).   Known BAC [Blood Alcohol Content] test results are not available for all drivers and non-occupants involved in fatal crashes for a number of reasons, most frequent of which is that persons are not always tested for alcohol To address missing data, NHTSA has developed and employs a statistical model to estimate the likelihood that a fatal crash involved driver or non-occupant was sober (zero BAC), had some alcohol (BAC of 0.01-0.09) or was intoxicated (BAC of 0.10) at the time of the crash.  The statistical model was developed using all available known data in the aggregate (that is, at the national level) and applied to each individual driver and non-occupant with an unknown BAC test result. The estimates include a mix of both known and estimated BACs."---(DOT HS 809 334). [Emphasis added].
Translation: 60% of the drivers were not tested. Why? Maybe there was no reason to test them. So they take a guess. They assume, and we all know what assuming is: making an ASS out of U and ME.
Here is another disclaimer hidden deep in the bowels of the NHTSA web site:
"It is necessary to emphasize that none of the tabulations presented can be interpreted as implying a direct causal relationship between alcohol use and any other attribute of fatal crashes. Inferences concerning causality can only be made on the basis of additional data that is independent of the FARS data [FARS - Fatal Accident Analysis Reporting System]"
Translation: The presence of alcohol may or may not have caused the crash. They don't know.
CLICK HERE for more GovMath

Confused yet? Here's more:
"Approximately 18% of all drivers involved in fatal crashes in 1998 were intoxicated at the time of their crash. (NHTSA, 1999)"---MADD Los Angeles web site quoting NHTSA statistics.
The questionable conclusion: 9596 drunk drivers (18%) caused 16,673 traffic deaths (40%) in 1998. This number ignores the fact that most crashes result in only one death-usually of the drunk driver, himself. Their figures would require two deaths in 2/3rds of the crashes. Again they are using creative math.
A more likely scenario: The actual figure for 2001, a similar year, is 7400 drunk drivers (13%) involved in crashes with 8292 deaths. About 5000 of those deaths were the drunk driver, himself.  And this number still assumes that the drunk drivers caused all of the crashes.
A matter of definition: It's Not an Accident it's a Crash
How can there be such a difference? The NHTSA uses one definition when compiling their data and another when interpreting it. “Alcohol-Related Crashes” is the broad category that results in the 42% figure. Most of us, after twenty years of exposure to their misleading statements, assume that this means Drunk Driver-Caused Crashes. Substitute drunk driver for alcohol-related because that’s what we have been “taught” to believe.
See MADD QUOTES for examples
Using their interpretation, to the NHTSA, a drunk driver is any of the following:

A driver with a Blood alcohol level (BAC) above zero-zero. (The state’s legal BAC levels are .08 or .10. Any reading above .00 becomes a drunk driving statistic.) OR

A sober driver who hits a pedestrian becomes a drunk driver if the pedestrian was drinking. OR

A sober designated driver becomes a drunk driver, since his passengers have been drinking. OR

A driver or passenger using illegal drugs and possibly prescription drugs, cough syrup or breath fresheners becomes a drunk driver. OR 

A driver profiled using the New Methodology*, which includes up to 60% of the drivers who were not tested for alcohol. Many of these also become drunk drivers.  

Who is at fault? A drinking driver who is crashed into by a sober driver becomes the at-fault drunk driver. The NHTSA bias is this: In all accidents where alcohol is present or assumed to be present, the alcohol caused the accident. Never the other driver. Never suicide. Never speeding. Never fog, ice or other weather conditions.

*New Methodology, formerly called Multiple Imputation Method. In the 60% of the accident reports where alcohol involvement is unknown, they make an assumption. They assume that alcohol was involved if the driver fits a certain profile. Similar to racial profiling. They also admit that the New Methodology results in figures 1 or 2% higher than the "Old Methodology." They don't use this fill-in-the-blanks method for statistics on speeding or any other deaths--only for alcohol.
Common sense dictates that some of the profiled drivers were drunk, just as some Blacks stopped by the N.J. police were guilty of some crime. But how many? It is very easy for a cop to put a check in the little box labeled "alcohol" on the accident form. Why do an average of 60%* of the accident reports not list alcohol as a possible factor? Possibly because it wasn't! Racial profiling is illegal, but it's OK for the NHTSA to profile drivers--accusing them of DUI and vehicular homicide. 
*(The percentage of missing information varies from 25-73%, depending on the individual State, according to the NHTSA).

(PART 2) The New NHTSA Language (also from July, 2003):
No longer are the deaths alcohol-related. Now they are caused by impaired drivers. Unfortunately, they are still using the same flawed data. Before, you had to make the assumption, now they are stating it as fact. Even using their own definitions, the figures below are false: (for example: impaired drivers did not kill 1557 drunk pedestrians that are included in the 18,000 figure.)
CLICK HERE to see some actual numbers

Here is the new, bold GovSpeak:

"Despite the tireless efforts of thousands of advocates, impaired drivers continue to kill someone every 30 minutes, nearly 50 people a day, and almost 18,000 citizens a year. NHTSA and its partners are working together to put a stop to these deadly statistics."---NHTSA website, July, 2003.

NHTSA definition: "Impaired driving can be defined as a reduction in the performance of critical driving tasks due to the effects of alcohol or other drugs. It is a serious crime that kills every 30 minutes."---NHTSA website.

Just in case you have forgotten, here are TWO other NHTSA campaigns proven to be lies:

    In 1977, the Transportation Department announced that air bags "protect automobile occupants from collision injuries automatically, without the need to fasten belts or take any other action." 1983, the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Joan Claybrook said, "Because air bags are hidden away in dashboards, they work automatically when a crash occurs. ... They fit all different sizes of people from little children up to 95 percent of males, very large males. And I think that that gives more freedom and liberty than being forced to wear a seatbelt. ..."---From an article by Walter Williams, 2001, WorldNetDaily Commentary
     In 1996, the same Claybrook said, "The bags are designed to stop a 160 pound man going 30 miles an hour. . . The auto makers have known since 1978 that the explosive force needed to stop a man can snap the neck or injure the brain of a child."


     In 1995 the Republican Congress repealed the 55-mile-per-hour federal speed limit law. At the time, the highway safety lobby [including the NHTSA] and consumer advocacy groups made apocalyptic predictions about 6,400 increased deaths and a million additional injuries if posted speed limits were raised. Ralph Nader even said that "history will never forgive Congress for this assault on the sanctity of human life."
     But almost all measures of highway safety show improvement, not more deaths and injuries since 1995. Despite the fact that 33 states raised their speed limits immediately after the repeal of the mandatory federal speed limit, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported last October that "the traffic death rate dropped to a record low level in 1997." Moreover, the average fatality rate even fell in the states that raised their speed limits.---Stephen Moore, Cato Institute. 

CLICK HERE for the complete article. <>  If you have more time, CLICK HERE for the entire report

"When California revved up speed limits nearly three years ago, critics predicted highway carnage as drivers sped past the new 65 mph signs -- and into trouble.

It didn't happen. Fewer people died in California auto wrecks last year than in any year in the past four decades, despite a doubled state population and triple the number of vehicles on the road.

A total of 3,671 people died, far below the peak of 5,503 in 1979 and 5,500 as recently as 1987. This year, the death toll is running nearly 300 lower than the same period last year, California Highway Patrol Commissioner D.O. Helmick said.

``I for one am not going to tell you that raising speed limits in California has created a major problem,'' he said. ``We have never seen this kind of reduction in my 30 years on the highway patrol.''

The reduction is part of a nationwide phenomenon. As Congress debated ending the national 55 mph limit on most freeways in 1995, the Center for Auto Safety predicted an extra 6,400 people a year nationwide would die in addition to the 41,000 killed in 1994. Instead, the federal government reported last week that the death rate on the nation's roads fell to a record low in 1997. And California's death rate is even lower."---San Francisco Chronicle

CLICK HERE to see Fatalities Comparison Chart

"Government seems to operate on the principle that if even one individual is incapable of using his freedom competently, no one can be allowed to be free."--Harry Browne

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