Even though the dangers of drunk or impaired driving are well known, it still occurs. And although enforcement through sobriety checkpoints and prevention through services like free cab rides (…common on New Year’s Eve) have been ramped up in recent years, accidents caused by driver intoxication are still relatively common.
Of course, the most unfortunate effect of drunk driving is the higher risk of accidents. Often times, these accidents can cause major injury or even death to both drivers and passengers.
Data compiled by the National Highway Traffic & Safety Administration sheds some light on exactly how common drunk driving accidents really are. Although stepped up enforcement and education has reduced these numbers, they are still all too common, especially for children. The NHTSA refers to drunk driving as “alcohol-impaired driving.”
Continue reading for a few brief statistics on drunken driving accidents. These numbers are from 2009 and 2010…figures for 2011 and 2012 have yet to be released.
- At some point in their lives, 3 in 10 Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related crash
- In 2009, approximately 32% of traffic accident fatalities involved a driver impaired by alcohol. Between the hours of 12:00 and 3:00 AM, that number jumps to an astounding 66%!
- In 2008, over 1347 children died as occupants in a vehicle involved in a car crash. Of those, 216 (…or 16%) were the direct result of drunk drivers. An additional 34 kids were killed while walking or riding their bikes
- Drunk driving accidents and fatalities cost over $37 billion annually.
- In 2010, drunk driving was the primary cause of over 10,000 deaths, or one every 51 minutes.
- In Tennessee, over 989 traffic fatalities occurred…303 of those (…or 31%) were the result of alcohol-impaired driving.
Even though deaths from alcohol-impaired driving are slightly lower than the national average in Tennessee, they are still too common.
The best way to combat this problem is through proper education and reasonable enforcement. All 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have set their legal limit, or blood-alcohol content, to 0.08. Therefore, if your blood-alcohol level is above that amount, you’re at risk of being charged with driving under the influence.
And if you or a loved one has been in an accident involving a drunk driver, you will likely qualify for compensation for medical costs, lost wages and even pain and suffering. To learn more, contact drunk driving attorneys at Tennessee’s Gilreath & Associates today for a free consultation.