Seeing things written out in numbers can sometimes put things in perspective, as these impaired driving facts will do. We all know how dangerous it is to drink and drive, but do you truly know how scary it can be? These impaired driving facts and statistics will shine a new light on this dangerous issue.
The Real Problem
Over 10,000 people die in alcohol-related crashes every year. So, why are we not doing more as a society to stop this impaired driving from happening? Thanks to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we can take a look at some impaired driving facts nd see where the real problem is at.
- In 2015, 1,132 traffic deaths involved children ages 0 to 14 years. Of those deaths, 209 (16%) involved an impaired driver.
- 10,265 people died in drinking and driving crash in 2015. This accounted for nearly one-third (29%) of all traffic-related deaths in the United States.
- In 2015, about 1.1 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- About 16% of motor vehicle crashes involved drugs other than alcohol (legal and illegal).
- According to the CDC, marijuana use is on the rise. This includes 13% of nighttime and weekend drivers having marijuana in their system.
- Marijuana users were about 25% more likely to be involved in a crash than drivers with no evidence of marijuana use. With that being said, other factors could account for the increased crash risk, such as age and gender.
The Risks of Impaired Driving
There are many risks that factor into drinking and driving. The CDC took a look at these risks and determined who was most at risk when getting behind the wheel after drinking.
- No matter what the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is, young people have the greatest risk of being involved in a crash.
- In 2015, of the drivers with BAC levels of 0.08% or higher that were involved in fatal crashes, nearly three in 10 were between the ages of 21 and 24 (28%). The next two largest age groups were 25 to 34 (27%) and 35 to 44 (23%).
- It doesn’t just involved drinking and driving a car. Among motorcyclists killed in fatal crashes in 2015, 27% of them had BACs of 0.08% or higher.
- Drivers never learn! Of the drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2015 that had a BAC of 0.08% or higher, they were 4.5 times more likely to have a prior conviction for DWI than were drivers with no alcohol in their system.
Impaired Driving Prevention
Besides bringing our drinking and driving simulator to your community, there are other options to help prevent impaired driving. Some of these include:
- Raise the price of alcohol by taxing it more. The higher cost could encourage people to buy less of it.
- Reducing the illegal BAC threshold to 0.05% instead of 0.08%.
- Before you head out to drink, designate a non-drinking driver for the night.
- If you have been drinking or using drugs, call for a ride, get an Uber or taxi.
- Stop your friends from drinking and driving. If you are out and they want to drive home, stop them.
- Make sure everyone leaves a party with a sober driver.