Statistics on drunk driving elicit surprise and dismay when disclosed to the public. Experts from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration say that DUI claims an individual’s life approximately every 50 minutes. This adds up to 10,000 lives per year. Despite being preventable, these incidents happen when a tippler sits behind the steering wheel. Drunk driving is inexcusable as it has severe consequences, such as this incident (courtesy of A&E), and endangers the driver’s life, as well as others on the road. While vehicle GPS tracking systems cannot correct drunk driving, it can detect irrational behaviors, like excessive speeding, sudden & harsh braking, sharp turning, etc.
An Overview of Drunk Driving Statistics
Intoxicated driving is a significant problem in the USA. The following statistics will help you understand the situation.
- 1 out of 3 car accidents happen because of a drunk driver sitting behind the wheel (NHTSA)
- 229 children aged between 0 and 14 die every year due to drunk driving accidents (CDC)
- 32 % of the life-threatening car wrecks that happened at night in 2017 resulted from drunk driving (NHTSA)
- Alcohol-impaired drivers caused $123.3 billion in damages in 2020 (CDC)
- College-aged drivers cause around 19% of all drunk driving accidents in the USA (MADD)
- Some of the most dangerous accidents happen due to drinking more than usual on weekends (NHTSA)
- When the minimum drinking age was raised in 1984, it saved almost 32,000 lives (NHTSA)
- California, Texas, and Florida hold the record for the highest number of alcohol-related fatalities.
Booze & Vehicles - a Deadly Combination
Everyone knows how alcohol impairs the ability to handle a car. The real question is, why does it affect the drinker? Here are a couple of reasons.
- Alcohol impairs cognition, reduces brain function & reasoning, and affects muscle coordination.
- Alcohol enters the bloodstream and is measured in BAC or Blood Alcohol Concentration. In 50 states, if you drive with a BAC of 0.08 grams of alcohol per deciliter (g/dL), you will be flagged as a violator. In Utah, however, the legal limit is 0.05 grams.
- Even the smallest quantity of BAC, between 0.01 & 0.7 grams, may lead to impairment.
So, how many people die every year due to drunk driving? According to the CDC, about 11,660 Americans died because of driving under the influence in 2020. This number has increased by 14.3% from the previous year. The CDC even suggests that in 2020,
- In 62% of these instances, the impaired driver was the victim
- In 38% of these instances, the passengers traveling with the drunk driver became victims
The statistics are alarming, to say the least. Impaired driving does not only affect the driver but also their passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians.
Statistics Based on Age
While drunk driving is a common problem in America, a few groups do it more than others. According to the NHTSA bulletin 2020, the following are the highest-risk groups.
- Most alcohol-impaired drivers are between the age group of 21 and 34.
- Men are four times more likely to indulge in drinking and driving than women.
- 29% of drunk driving fatalities happen to youngsters aged between 15 and 20 with a BAC of over 0.01 g/dL.
One should be vigilant about how they behave on the street, but it is also beneficial to be aware of the groups more at risk than others while driving impaired.
DUIs and Insurance Rates
Anyone who gets pulled over and charged with a DUI would have to deal with a steep insurance rate. Factors like living conditions and offenses dictate how much the insurance premiums may rise. It usually remains between 7% and 289%.
Furthermore, the violator will never be able to leverage the perks of safe driving if charged with a DUI.
Ways to Prevent Mishaps
There is no shame in craving a swig or two now and then. However, you probably do not want to become part of the statistical data presented here. To that end, plan your night out ahead of time. You have several options to get to and from your location safely. For instance, you can opt for ride-sharing services, such as Uber or Lyft, hire a taxi, or go for designated driving services to bring you home safely, along with your vehicle.
Fortunately, drunk driving is currently trending in the right direction. That is why it has dropped by 44% since 1985. Nonetheless, instances of DUI are not few and far between, and such an event can wreak havoc on your life and everyone else around you. Additionally, you will need a lot of time to recover vehicle insurance premiums if you get caught. You even have to shell out heavy legal penalties associated with impaired driving.
Source: https://bit.ly/3mWqmaf (Forbes)
Video Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJqe4wHNm7c&ab_channel=A%26E
Video Credit: https://www.youtube.com/@AETV