How Big is the Drunk Driving Problem?
Posted on March 12th, 2017 by Zane Cagle
Drunk Driving Fatalities Continue to Rise
Drunk driving awareness and education has been actively happening on a national level for more than 20 years. However, too many people still continue to make the choice to drive after they have consumed alcohol.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC), in 2014, 9,967 peopled were killed in alcohol-related crashes which accounts for about one-third of all traffic-related deaths in the U.S. The only thing positive about this figure is that it means we can reduce traffic fatalities by 0ne-third if people would only avoid drunk driving!
Of the 209 child passengers, ages 14 and younger who died in alcohol-related crashes in 2014, over half of the children were riding in the vehicle with the impaired driver. You do not get the “great parent” award if you drink and drive with your children in the vehicle.
Those Most At-Risk
- At all levels of blood alcohol concentration (BAC), the risk of being involved in a crash is greater for young people than older people.
- Among drivers with BAC levels of .08% or higher involved in fatal crashes in 2014, three out of every 10 were between 21 and 24 years of age (30%). The next two largest groups were ages 25-34 (29%) and 35-44 (24%)
- Among motorcyclists killed in fatal crashes in 2014, 29% had BACs of .08% or greater
- Motorcyclists ages 40-49 have the highest percentage of deaths with BACs of .08% or greater (40% in 2013)
Drivers with prior driving while impaired (DWI) convictions:
- Drivers with a BAC of 0.08% or higher involved in fatal crashes were seven times more likely to have a prior conviction for DWI than were drivers with alcohol in the system. (7% and 1%, respectively)
Ways deaths and injuries can be prevented:
- Actively enforce existing 0.08% BAC laws, minimum legal drinking age laws, and zero tolerance laws for drivers younger than 21 years of age in all states
- Require ignition interlocks for all offenders, including first-time offenders
- Use sobriety checkpoints
- Putting health promotion efforts into practice that influence economic, organizational, policy, and school/community action
- Using comunity-based approaches to alcohol control and DWI prevention
- Requiring mandatory substance abuse assessment and treatment, if needed, for DWI offenders
Safety Steps for Individuals:
- Before drinking, designate a non-drinking driver within the group. Again, this should not be the “least drunk” person in the group, but the individual who is not drinking
- Don’t let your friends drive impaired
- If you have been drinking or using drugs, get a ride home, take a taxi or Uber
- If you’re hosting a party where alcohol is served, remind your guest to plan a safe ride home, offer alcohol-free beverages, and make sure all guests leave with a sober driver.
Motor Vehicle Crashes
If you have been in a motor vehicle crash and you’ve been injured, you may need legal assistance. Our attorneys use tried and proven strategies to maximize your compensation. It is compensation that you need for lost wages, medical bills and the many other unplanned bills caused by an injury.
Speaking with an attorney as soon as possible after a crash is critical. In the days directly following a crash, your attorney can better collect crucial evidence and begom communications with insurance companies that assuredly will become complex if you try to negotiate it on your own.
There is no need to face this challenge alone—it is exactly what we are paid to do. We only earn our money when we get you a positive result.