Drunk driving causes 17,000 deaths a year, which translates to 310 funerals a week. In New York alone, drunk drivers are responsible for one death every thirty minutes. In addition, drunk driving causes an average of two injuries per minute. Luckily, blood tests, breath tests, and urine and saliva tests are available, which can detect whether or not a driver is under the influence of alcohol.
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Alcohol-impaired drivers are responsible for more than 100,000 road deaths a year, and while the numbers have declined over the past three decades, that still represents a substantial number of fatalities. In 2018, drunk driving-related fatalities accounted for about 30 percent of traffic deaths. Of those, almost forty percent were the fault of drunk drivers in North Dakota.
The NHTSA reported that drunk drivers caused over 10,000 fatal crashes in the U.S. in 2017, which represents a significant decline from the previous year. More than one million drivers were arrested for drunk driving last year. Moreover, despite the staggering statistics, only a small percentage of drunk drivers are caught, which means that at some point in time, most drivers will come in contact with a drunk driver.
According to the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, alcohol-related crashes cost the US economy $132 billion each year. The cost is passed directly to drunk drivers, indirectly to consumers, and ultimately to society through higher taxes. Even first-time drunk drivers place a significant burden on society through increased costs related to police work, jail housing, and judicial and administrative costs.
The costs and resulting human suffering from drunk driving accidents are staggering. More than 10,000 people die every year in drunk-driving accidents. This figure represents about a quarter of all traffic fatalities. However, the statistics vary widely based on gender, age, and location. For example, young drivers, motorcyclists, and drivers with prior DUI convictions are the most likely to be involved in an alcohol-related traffic accident.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Fourth of July is one of the deadliest days of the year for drunk driving. This holiday weekend is considered the unofficial start to the summer season, with almost 60% more traffic and more deaths than the previous year. While this holiday is typically associated with celebrating freedom of speech, there are still many reasons to avoid driving under the influence.
First of all, alcohol is a major factor in most accidents. New Year’s Day is the second deadliest day for vehicle crashes, followed by July 4th with an average of 141 fatalities. While January is a month with relatively few fatalities, the number of alcohol-related deaths is higher during this time of year.
The statistics show that every day, one American gets behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol. This behavior has serious consequences, as it causes nearly a quarter of all traffic fatalities each year. In addition, the total cost of drunk driving crashes is estimated to exceed $44 billion per year. The following list outlines the states with the highest rates of drunk driving fatalities.
The top three states for drunk driving fatalities are Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York. The South and West are the worst states for impaired driving, but the Midwest and Northeast are the safest places to drive.
Alcohol-impaired driving is a serious problem in the United States, but it is also a public health issue that needs a multi-sector approach. While the number of alcohol-related crashes has decreased in many states, many of the issues underlying this problem need to be addressed. In addition to law enforcement, public health strategies must consider social, cultural, legal, and economic factors.
While the causes of alcohol-impaired driving are many, the consequences are often not as obvious as one might think. Alcohol-impaired driving is the leading cause of death on the road. While the problem is complex and multifaceted, the report provides a blueprint to combat the problem. It identifies evidence-based policies, promising programs, and system changes that can help curb the problem. And, it supports Vision Zero, a national strategy to end alcohol-impaired driving.
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