There’s no question that driving under the influence of alcohol can be deadly. However, across the United States, thousands of individuals still get behind the wheel after consuming alcoholic beverages. According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), this deadly epidemic leads to the deaths of over 10,000 people every year.
Sobering Drunk Driving Facts and Statistics
Alcohol affects driving abilities in a number of ways. It reduces brain function, impairing one’s thinking, reasoning and muscle coordination. Plus, the more beverages an individual consumes and alcohol levels in the bloodstream rise, the central nervous system becomes affected, too. A blood alcohol concentration of just .02 can lead to a decline in visual functions, like rapid tracking of a moving object, and a decline in the ability to perform more than one task a time. It’s easy to see the negative effects this could have on a person’s ability to safely drive.
The NHTSA reports that in 2017, 10,874 people were killed in a crash involving a drunk driver. Let’s take a look at a few other recent facts and statistics surrounding drunk driving.
- In every state in the country, it’s illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. However, in 2017, one person was killed every 48 minutes in a drunk driving crash.
- The Federal Bureau of Investigation estimates well over one million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in 2016.
- Alcohol-impaired crashes accounted for 28 percent of all traffic-related deaths in 2016.
- In 2017, 9 percent of all drivers involved in fatal crashes during the day were drunk, compared to 32 percent at night.
- About a quarter of car crashes with teens involve an underage drinking driver.
Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over
Because drunk driving is one of the deadliest, yet most preventable types of crimes in the country, the NHTSA has designated August 14 through September 2 as the national enforcement mobilization of their campaign, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. The program focuses on law enforcement and their goal to stop drunk drivers. The campaign highlights a constant police presence searching for these drunk drivers as a means of hopefully deterring others from operating a vehicle after consuming alcohol.
Remember, if you’re drunk or even buzzed, the last place you should be is behind the wheel. Call a sober friend, utilize a rideshare company like Uber or Lyft, or take public transportation home. Don’t become another statistic.
Drive Team is a premier driving school, offering teen driving classes and corporate driver training to ensure everyone stays as safe as possible behind the wheel. Contact us today for more information.