Drunk Driving on the Decline, but Still a Risk
Here’s a pop quiz for you:
What is the legal limit for BAC (blood alcohol concentration) in every state?
On average, how many people have died every year in drunk-driving crashes since 2010?
Which gender is more likely to be involved in a fatal, alcohol-related crash?
In 2015, approximately what percentage of the children under the age of 14 who died in alcohol-related traffic crashes were killed by the driver in their car?
(Answers in bold below)
We all know that alcohol makes us bad drivers. (Of course we know that, right?) Even in small doses, alcohol can cause us to lose our judgement and can change our moods. By the time someone reaches the legal limit of 0.08% BAC, he or she will often experience a loss of muscle coordination and self-control, among other impairments. This makes for dangerous driving conditions. Here are some sobering facts (pun intended) about drunk driving:
In 2015, 10,265 people were killed in accidents where one or more drivers were impaired by alcohol.* While the overall number of deaths from alcohol-impaired driving has been declining (down from 13,491 in 2006), an average of about 10,000 deaths per year has held constant for the past 5 years. In fact, 2015 saw an uptick in the number of deaths due to impaired driving (from 9,943 in 2014).
Of all the drivers involved in fatal accidents (where one or more persons was killed, whether or not they were driving), men were 4 times more likely to be in the crash if it involved a drunk driver. So guys, before you start complaining about your higher insurance rates, you have to ask yourselves whether you might be part of the problem.
Perhaps the saddest statistic of 2015 involved children. Of all the people under 14 who died in alcohol-related traffic crashes, 51% of these children were in cars where the driver of that car was drunk (BAC of 0.08% or greater). Think about that: most of the children who died in drunk driving accidents were killed by the person who was driving them, the person responsible for their safety.
So what can you do to combat this nationwide problem? Designate a sober driver before you party. Never let your friends drive drunk: call them a cab or a ride-share. And if you see an impaired driver behind the wheel, call your local law enforcement. Drunk driving accidents are preventable, and we all have to do our part.
From our team to your family, remember to always DriveSafe!
*All data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (www.nhtsa.gov).
If you’d like to learn more information like this and become a better driver, take DriveSafe Online! It’s the easiest, one-hour defensive driving course you’ll find. You might even save money on your car insurance!
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