Drunk Driving Statistics and What’s Changing on the Roads Today

Although drunk driving has decreased in recent years, it remains a serious problem in our country. During the average hour, about 30 people suffer injuries caused by intoxicated drivers. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving such accidents killed 10,076 Americans in 2013. Various estimates indicate that these crashes cost the nation $60 to $200 billion per year. About 2.3 percent of the victims are children under 15 years old.


The good news is that fatalities have decreased by more than 50 percent since 1980. Government figures show that the number of people killed in 2013 was about 250 less than the statistic for 2012. While alcohol continues to play a role in about 29 percent of highway deaths, this compares well with rates reported during the 1960s and 1970s. Intoxication caused about three out of five fatalities in that time period.


State and local authorities have become more serious about enforcing drunk driving laws. Gone are the days when police would ignore all but the most serious cases of driver intoxication. Stricter laws and sobriety checkpoints have also made a difference. For example, KOMO-TV reported that three counties in Washington State introduced new laws during 2014. Drunk drivers with multiple convictions must undergo daily alcohol tests.


Shifting attitudes and greater awareness of the problem have helped to reduce intoxicated driving as well. Media outlets and schools across the nation regularly educate the public about the risks associated with this dangerous behavior. Public service messages on radio and TV often starkly illustrate the consequences. More people realize that it’s a crime with serious medical, legal, and financial repercussions.


General improvements in highway safety are also helping to decrease fatalities and injuries. Cars have become safer in recent years, and most vehicles on today’s roads feature multiple air bags. Additional exterior lights make modern vehicles more visible to other drivers and pedestrians. Increasing numbers of cars now incorporate backup cameras. As a recent Star Tribune news article pointed out, emergency personnel are responding to accidents more quickly as well.

It’s appropriate to celebrate this progress, but more needs to be done. About six Americans die in traffic accidents involving alcoholic beverages every four hours, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. This is still far too many. Even if you don’t drink or own a car, you can help solve this problem by discouraging others from driving intoxicated.

If you become involved in an alcohol-related collision, be sure to seek the assistance of a Blumenauer Hackworth lawyer.

Carsurfer Admin

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