Almost a third of all car crash fatalities involve an alcohol-impaired driver. Drunk driving accidents are costly and cause innocent lives to be lost. The cost of alcohol-impaired driving is estimated to be $44 billion annually. Fortunately, there are proven strategies to help reduce drunk driving accidents.
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Although drunk driving fatalities have decreased in the past three decades, they are still staggering. The United States averages nearly one drunk driving death every 45 minutes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drunk drivers are involved in 121 million vehicle trips per year. The average alcohol-impaired driver gets behind the wheel after 80 trips before they are arrested.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 11,654 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in the United States in 2020. These deaths represent the highest number of alcohol-impaired driving deaths in the last 40 years. Even though alcohol-impaired driving deaths have dropped by nearly half in the past three decades, they still account for one-third of all car crash fatalities. The estimated cost of drunk driving in 2010 was $44 billion. These figures include both alcohol-impaired driving fatalities and non-injury accidents involving alcohol.
The best way to determine how many people die from drunk driving every day is to look at how many people are killed in alcohol-impaired driving accidents per year. The NHTSA estimates that approximately 11,000 people die each year in traffic crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. Of these deaths, more than half involve someone who is under 21.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that alcohol-impaired driving fatalities increased dramatically at certain times of the year. The most prominent is the holiday season. The Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday periods are the busiest of the year. However, these two holiday periods also increase the number of drunk driving accidents. Approximately one-third of the total fatalities that occurred during the holiday season occurred on Thanksgiving and Christmas. The holidays are also a time of celebration for many Americans, and many people tend to throw caution to the wind while having a good time.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, alcohol-impaired driving accounts for one-third of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities in the U.S. It’s not surprising that this is the case. People tend to drink more and drive more during special occasions, and that is especially true during the holiday season. One out of every four alcohol-impaired driving fatalities occurred during the holiday season.
The average alcohol-impaired driving fatality is caused by a driver who has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.08 grams per deciliter, which is the legal limit in nearly every state. Despite this, drunk drivers are still responsible for more deaths than any other cause of traffic fatalities in the U.S. In fact, drivers with a BAC of 0.10 or higher are seven times more likely to be in a fatal car crash than sober drivers.
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