Drunk Driving Car Accidents

Drunk Driving Car Accidents Facts And Statistics

It seems uncanny how accurate predictions of drunk driving car accidents for a given year can be, even on a state by state basis. It almost seems as if there is a quota to be reached, and one way or another we manage to reach it.

Of course there are many drunk driving car accidents which don't make their way into the statistics because they turned out to be only fender benders or no one got killed. When someone is killed in an automobile accident, it seems that most of the time either alcohol is involved or the person fatally injured was not wearing a seat belt, or both.

Statistics Show Improvement - When one looks at the statistics of the last 30 years or so, things seem to be a little heartening in that the number of automobile fatalities and the number of those fatalities due to drunk driving appears to be in a steady decline. Also a smaller percentage of fatalities are attributed to alcohol than in the past. Of course in the 1980's people didn't have cell phones with them, send text messages while driving, or have some of the other distractions we deal with today. If you could afford it in 1980, you might have FM radio or even a tape cassette, with only an attempt to change cassettes while driving constituting a dangerous distraction.

In the early 1980's there were a little over 40,000 fatal car accidents a year in the U.S., with around two thirds of them, about 25,000 attributed to drunk driving. Both numbers increased in the 1980's and then began a slow, steady decline in the 1990's, and into the 21st century. By 2008 we experienced 37,000 highway deaths, with 13,846 of them alcohol related.

Given the fact that there are many more on the road than 30 years ago, that would seem to be a wonderful trend, and it is of course a good one. Still, nearly 14,000 deaths due to drunk driving car accidents is far too many for one year, or for 10 years for that matter.

Some States Are Safer Than Others - Statistics hinging on drunk driving car accidents by state can be a little misleading unless one takes percentages into account. One would naturally expect states like Texas, California, and Florida to be leaders in drunk driving accidents, simply because they are very high population states with many more automobiles on the road than, in some cases, a number of other states put together. Those three states did in fact lead in the number of drunk driving fatalities in 2008, though not necessarily in terms of percentages. While Texas led in the total number of fatalities, 43% of those fatalities were attributed to alcohol. South Carolina had fewer fatalities, but 50% of those fatalities were alcohol related, North Dakota also had a 50% rating. At the other end of the spectrum, only 21% of traffic deaths in Vermont were attributable to alcohol, and only 20% were attributable to alcohol in Utah. In most states 35% to 40% was the norm.

Anyone Can Become A Statistic - Still, many choose to ignore the statistics or feel that the statistics apply to someone else. Ironically, many of not most of those who became statistics were not even aware of it when it happened. It probably should be mentioned at this time, that not all of those killed were drinking. A substantial percentage of them were cold sober and were killed by a drunk driver.

Many of the fatalities include or are caused by those under 25 years of age, and drunk driving is the leading cause of death for those in that age bracket. Also women appear to be increasingly involved in the number drunk driving car accidents in recent years. While hard figures are not available, a recent study indicated that women, when under the influence, were often very reluctant to give their car keys to another person, while more and more men tend to seek out a safe driver or take an alternate ways home. Some heed the warnings the statistics seem to offer, and some do not.  Don't drink and drive, and drive defensively, and your chances of becoming a statistic should diminish greatly.