Every year, hundreds of people die on the roads due to drunk driving. While the number of fatalities has been on the decline for the past three decades, it remains a staggering number. In this article, you’ll learn about the number of DUI deaths in the United States each year, the Deadliest Days of the Year, and the effects of alcohol on the human body.
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Statistically, drunk driving crashes cause over 10,000 deaths each year. Drivers with BACs of 0.15 percent or higher are seven times more likely to die in a car accident than sober drivers. Even worse, the statistics show that most of these fatal crashes are caused by young drivers.
While the number of deaths caused by drunk drivers has decreased significantly in recent years, it remains a very high number. One person dies every 52 minutes in a drunk driving crash. And although it is illegal in all states, statistics show that two out of every three people will die in a drunk driving crash at least once in their lives.
Every day, approximately eight people are killed or injured due to drunk driving accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drunk driving is responsible for one-third of all traffic deaths. During certain times of the year, the number of fatal crashes caused by drunk drivers increases dramatically. For example, in the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the number of alcohol-impaired driver deaths rose by nearly a third, from 32 to 54 per day. If breathalyzers were more widely available, the number of drunk driving fatalities would be considerably lower.
In the United States, the number of alcohol-impaired crash fatalities increased by 14.3 percent from 2011 to 2020. These numbers include crashes involving passenger cars, motorcycle riders, and trucks with more than one driver. The fatality rate is higher during the day than at night.
The deadliest days of the year for drunk driving are New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. These holidays tend to attract more drunk drivers, increasing the chances of an accident. Over a five-year study period, 43 percent of fatal crashes were alcohol-related. The most dangerous hours for drunk driving are after midnight when the chances of an alcohol-impaired crash double.
Labor Day is also a deadly day for drunk driving. People tend to be in a holiday haze on this day, which is made even worse by the increased volume of traffic. Almost three hundred people are killed during this holiday period, and drunk drivers are especially prone to make mistakes.
Alcohol can have a variety of effects on the body, including intoxication, dehydration, and changes in the liver and brain’s metabolism. It can also lead to several types of cancer and alcohol use disorders. Listed below are some of the most common long-term and short-term alcohol effects, as well as their symptoms.
Alcohol affects the circulatory system, which pumps blood to all parts of the body. Drinking too much alcohol can damage these vital organs and can even cause heart failure. Alcohol also depresses the immune system and causes foreign bacteria to overgrow. It also impairs judgment and can lead to illegal behavior.
According to the NHTSA, more than 10,000 people die in crashes related to alcohol every year. These fatalities are a result of reckless driving and should not be taken lightly. Fortunately, the number is steadily decreasing. In 2018 alone, there were only 10,511 alcohol-related traffic deaths in the U.S.; however, this figure still represents a major epidemic. The statistics also vary by age, gender, and region, with young people, women, and drivers with prior convictions most at risk.
Several interventions have been introduced in the last decade to reduce these tragic statistics. Sobriety checkpoints, mass media campaigns, and laws that revoke driver’s licenses have proved to be effective.
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