How Many Deaths Due to Drunk Driving Are Attributed to Drunk Driving?
During the last decade, the percentage of drunk driving fatalities decreased in most states. The decrease was attributed to both greater awareness and higher enforcement of DUI laws. In 2004, alcohol-impaired drivers accounted for 33% of roadway fatalities in Washington, D.C.; in 2018, they accounted for 36.4% of roadway fatalities in that state. A report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) analyzed the relationship between race and ethnicity and impaired driving. It found that African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans were more likely to be involved in a DUI accident.
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In the United States, more than nine thousand people die every year due to alcohol-impaired driving crashes. In addition, an estimated seventy-four thousand people suffer serious injuries as a result of such crashes. As many as one in three people will be involved in a drunk-driving crash at some point in their lifetime. A first-offense DUI can cost a driver upwards of $10,000 in fines and legal fees.
According to NHTSA, most alcohol-related crashes occur in urban areas. However, more than half of these crashes also occur on non-interstate roads. Pedestrians account for 10% of alcohol-related vehicle crash fatalities. In addition, motorcyclists are the most likely to be involved in a drunk-driving fatal crash. Motorcycle riders account for 29% of fatal crashes involving alcohol.
Young adults make up the biggest group of drunk drivers. In 2019, an estimated 11,055 deaths were attributed to drunk driving. This is a significant reduction in total drunk driving fatalities, which declined 81 percent in just one year. During this period, the number of individuals under 21 years of age who died in a drunk-driving crash decreased by a staggering 80 percent.
The Fourth of July was the deadliest day of the year for alcohol-related crashes, with 812 people dying in such accidents. The holiday season often leads to more drinking, making the roads less safe. In fact, over a quarter of the profits of the alcohol industry are made between Thanksgiving and New Year. Moreover, the number of people who drink and drive during the holiday season increases by sixteen percent.
A large number of alcohol-related fatal crashes occurred at night. The average rate of alcohol involvement in a fatal crash was 3.4 times higher at night than during the day. In addition, one in five drunk driving fatal crashes happened in the dark. These conditions make it difficult for a driver to respond quickly and safely to a crash.
In addition, alcohol-impaired crashes are more likely to occur during the summer months. The period from Memorial Day to Labor Day is known as the “100 Deadliest Days of Summer”. In 2010, an estimated 2,344 child deaths were attributed to drunk driving. In addition, an estimated 62% of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in the United States involve children under the age of 14.
A special report by the NHTSA investigated the relationship between race and ethnicity and drunk driving. It found that African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, and Asians are consistently at higher risk. The report also found that the average rate of blood alcohol concentration in fatal crashes was higher among men than women.