How Many Deaths Are Due to Drunk Driving?
In the United States, one in three traffic fatalities is due to alcohol-impaired driving. This is an issue that affects young people and urban areas, and it costs the nation more than 44 billion dollars a year. While the numbers are high, there is still much to be done to reduce alcohol-impaired driving deaths.
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Alcohol-impaired driving causes 1 in 3 traffic fatalities in the United States
The statistics on alcohol-related traffic fatalities vary. While the proportion of males and whites in such crashes is similar, the number of Hispanics and African-Americans who died was much higher. In addition to drivers, alcohol-impaired driving is also responsible for many deaths of pedestrians and cyclists.
Drinking alcohol reduces the brain’s ability to function normally, impairing reasoning and muscle coordination. These are essential for driving safely.
It costs 44 billion a year
Drunk driving costs Americans over $44 billion a year. A drunk driving crash costs someone their life every 50 minutes. Moreover, alcohol-impaired driving causes an estimated $13.7 billion in medical bills and lost wages. In addition, an individual with a DUI conviction is not eligible for certain jobs or receives higher insurance rates.
The CDC estimates that drunk driving is responsible for 29 deaths a day. While that may seem like a small number, this statistic is still alarming considering that the number of alcohol-related car accidents has decreased in recent years. Still, drunk driving causes more than 10,000 car accidents each year, costing society over $44 billion a year.
It affects young people
Young people are at a higher risk of drunk driving than adults. This is due to several reasons. For one, teenagers often believe they are invincible and are willing to take risks that other adults would never take. However, this attitude can lead to dangerous consequences. In addition, teenagers can become emboldened by peer pressure and become intoxicated while driving.
In addition, alcohol can impair reaction time, coordination, and cognitive abilities. Teenagers who drink intoxicated are twice as likely to drive after having consumed alcohol than non-drinkers. As a result, they need to develop a safe and confidential exit plan in case of an accident.
It occurs in urban areas
The high prevalence of urban sprawl and lack of public transportation contribute to the increased incidence of drunk driving. However, increased arrests of drunk drivers have been shown to have the highest effect in reducing this problem. Cities with aggressive traffic enforcement have seen an overall decline in the number of DWI cases. Drunk drivers are most likely to be on the road just before and after bars close. During these hours, the risk of an accident increases significantly.
While speeding accounted for a similar number of fatal crashes in rural and urban areas in 2020, the rate of fatal crashes involving a single vehicle was more than twice as high. Moreover, in both urban and rural areas, crashes involving drivers with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher were more likely to occur on local or collector roads.
It occurs on county roads
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that the number of deaths due to drunk driving is on the rise and could reach 31 percent by 2020. However, the numbers are far lower among the youngest drivers. Just 2 percent of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities are among the youngest drivers. However, those over 55 are responsible for almost one-fifth of all alcohol-impaired driving fatalities nationwide.
Since 2010, there have been more than 16,000 deaths attributed to drunk driving on county roads. These accidents represent nearly 19 percent of the total number of traffic deaths nationwide. Despite the high number of drunk driving fatalities, these crashes are comparatively rare. On average, a drunk driver gets behind the wheel of a vehicle 80 times before being arrested. Because of this, most drivers will come into contact with a drunk driver at some point.