The very first Alcohol and Highway Safety Report was released back in 1968, and since then, we've seen the numbers proving the dangers of drinking and driving. Our Leawood, Missouri car accident attorneys remind motorists of the risks as we head into the busy holiday season.
As we approach the end of the year, we're all looking forward to Christmas
and New Year's. What many of us don't look forward to is the increased
number of drunk drivers on our roadways.
In that first report of drunk driving statistics in the U.S., there were approximately 56,000 deaths on our roadways because of drinking and driving. About 800,000 people were injured because of drunk driving-related car accidents in Leawood, MO and elsewhere. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, last year, the U.S. saw nearly 11,000 deaths on our roadways resulting from alcohol-impaired drivers. Although this number is significantly lower than the number we saw in the 60s, DUI accidents still account for roughly a third of all traffic-accident fatalities.
William Haddon, the president of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and former director of the National Highway Safety Bureau, says that these accidents are caused by all sorts of drivers. Every day, normal people (including students, fathers, mothers and hard workers) jump behind the wheel after consuming alcohol--and thereby endanger everyone on our roadways.
Back in the 60s, the legal drinking age was 18. Today, it's 21, and we're still seeing far too many fatalities resulting from drunk driving. Drunk driving arrests reached a high in 1983, with nearly 2 million people arrested for driving while drunk. Since then, arrests dropped by about 7,000 each year until the late 90s. In 1994, officers arrested about 1.5 million people driving drunk, according to TBD.
Other drunk driving numbers reveal that:
- In 2010, drivers got behind the wheel after drinking roughly 112 million times.
- The number of self-reported drunk driving episodes has decreased by nearly 30 percent in recent years. Researchers contribute this decrease to the number of drunk driving ad campaigns and increased enforcement efforts.
- Nearly 10 percent of all adults confess to a binge drinking episode at least 4 times in the last 30 days. These reports accounted for nearly 60 percent of all of the alcohol-impaired driving episodes.
- Male drivers between the ages of 21 and 35 accounted for more than 30 percent of these episodes, although this group only accounts for about 10 percent of the U.S. population.
- Midwestern drivers accounted for more drunk driving episodes than drivers from any other region in the nation. The average episode rate was about 640 per 1,000 population in this area.
- The state with the highest rate of drunk driving episodes is North Dakota, with a rate of 988 per 1,000 population. In second place ranks Delaware, with an episode rate of 843 per 1,000 population. Massachusetts is in third place with an episodes rate of 835 per 1,000 population.
- In a survey from the U.S. Department of Transportation, nearly 80 percent of Americans indicated that they support law enforcement's sobriety checkpoints.
In Missouri alone, there were nearly 400 fatalities resulting from DUI accidents in 2010. These accidents are completely preventable. The holiday season is here, and it's important for all of us to plan accordingly. Be sure to designate a driver if you'll be drinking. Help your loved ones to stay safe and never let a friend or family member get behind the wheel if they've been drinking. Let's finish out the year with safer roadways and far fewer tragedies.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident in Kansas City, report the accident and keep all police and medical records and contact the Kansas City car accident lawyers at Aaron Sachs & Associates PC for help. Call 816.231.4800 and ask for a no cost, no obligation consultation.
More Blog Entries:
Underage Driver Involved in Kansas City Drunk Driving Car Accident - Party Host Faces Criminal Charges, Kansas City Car Accident Lawyer Blog, September 27, 2011
AAA Reveals Hypocritical Drivers are Causing Car Accident in Kansas City and Elsewhere,Kansas City Car Accident Lawyer Blog, September 23, 2011Attorney meetings by appointment only