Traffic Safety Facts: Alcohol-Impaired Driving

When a driver is traveling with a BAC of .08 grams or higher, they are considered to be drunk driving. If somebody with this amount of BAC in their system causes an accident and somebody dies as a result, it is considered to be an alcohol-impaired-driving fatality. All states as well as the District of Colombia and Puerto Rico take drunk driving very seriously and make it illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher. Yet, in 2015 alone, there were 10,265 people killed in alcohol-related accidents.

The truth is, these numbers are only rising, which leads to bigger concerns. From 2014 to 2015, for instance, fatalities involving drunk driving increased by 3.2%. Not only are lives lost in these terrible accidents, but victims incur enormous economic costs as well. These include aspects like lost productivity, workplace losses, legal expenses, medical costs, and property damage. One of the most unfortunate facts of these accidents is the fact that children’s lives are lost as well. In fact, in 2015, a total of 1,132 children were killed in impaired driving accidents.

Time of Day: An Indicator

Surprisingly enough, the time of day and day of the week can show us some trends in impaired driving as well. For instance, fatal accidents in 2015 were 3.5 times more likely to happen at night than during the day. 28% of people were involved in these crashes on the weekend as opposed to 15% during the week. Age is also a determining factor, where 21-to-24 year olds were more likely to drive impaired than 25-to-34 year olds. By taking a look at these trends over the years, we can find out what to work on in terms of lessening the likelihood of drunk driving fatalities. This leaves many organizations and lawmakers with the right tools to help end these horrible accidents.