What Impact Does Drunk Driving Have on Society?
Alcohol-impaired driving is a leading cause of motor vehicle crashes in the United States, with fatalities in these crashes accounting for 31 percent of total traffic fatalities (NCSA, 2016a). Although progress has been made on reducing the number of alcohol-related crash deaths, alcohol-impaired driving still remains a major concern, and drivers continue to be at risk for injury or death while driving.
The physical and emotional impact of a drunk driving accident can be devastating to those who survive it. It can have a lasting and severe effect on their lives and the lives of the victims they were with when the accident happened.
In the immediate aftermath of a drunk driving accident, it is critical that survivors and their loved ones take time to cope with the trauma. This can help prevent the escalation of other issues and potentially lead to additional emotional harm.
Survivors of drunk driving accidents often find themselves in a cycle of depression and anxiety after the crash. These emotions can be hard to control, and they can cause survivors to act out in unexpected ways or to make bad decisions, which can only further compound their problems.
Family members of those who are killed in an accident caused by a drunk driver also face numerous challenges. They may lose their jobs or be unable to find reliable transportation to get to work, which can have serious consequences for families with school-age children.
Many surviving family members will need to go through a process of rehabilitation and counseling to deal with their feelings and emotions. These efforts can be expensive and time-consuming, but they can also help to heal the wounds caused by a drunk driving accident.
Regardless of the outcome of the rehabilitation and counseling, the emotional trauma that survivors endure after a drunk driving accident can be devastating for families. It can have a long-lasting negative effect on relationships between surviving family members, including spouses and parents.
In some cases, the anger a survivor feels after a crash can cause them to act in an aggressive manner or even commit violent acts. This behavior can also have a negative impact on other drivers on the road, who may be less likely to stop and avoid the drunk driver or follow the rules of the road.
If you are the victim of a drunk driving accident, there are many things you can do to reduce your risks of being hurt or killed by a drunk driver. Some of these measures include taking the car keys away and asking for a ride home from a friend or family member, or calling for a cab or Uber to get you safely home.
Developing strategies to address the problem of drunk driving can be challenging because the effects of alcohol-impaired driving vary widely by region, community, and population. Interventions to reduce alcohol-impaired driving must be designed to consider the social, cultural, and economic environment of communities. These factors are important to understand in order to design interventions that are effective, while avoiding creating disparities between different groups of people and minimizing social stigma.