Drunk driving is a persistent problem on the nation’s roadways. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 10,000 lives are lost annually due to accidents related to drunk driving, amounting to one person every 52 minutes.
Illegal across the country, states employ a variety of strategies to combat drunk driving, but every strategy starts with accurate information. Recently compiled statistics help identify drunk driving trends for 2021, including how COVID-19 has influenced driver behavior.
Drunk Driving Statistics for 2021
Drunk driving poses a danger to everyone, but it doesn’t affect all drivers equally. Key demographic factors that increase the potential danger include:
- Age – Twenty-seven percent of drivers involved in a fatal DUI crash were between 21 and 24 years old. 25% were between the ages of 25 and 34.
- Gender – 80% of drunk driving fatalities were males.
- Location – California and Florida have the most drunk driving fatalities, while Alaska, Rhode Island, and Vermont have the fewest.
In 2018, 36,835 people in the U.S. lost their lives in drunk driving accidents, a total fatality rate of 1.13 per 100 million vehicle miles. However, 2019 brought relatively good news, with a substantial decrease in fatalities. In that year, 36,835 died in accidents related to drunk driving, a total fatality rate of 1.10 per 100 million vehicle miles.
How COVID Affected Drunk Driving Fatalities in 2020
During the height of the 2020 lockdowns, traffic decreased to record low levels, which would naturally suggest a related decrease in drunk driving fatalities. Unfortunately, statistics from 2020 reveal something surprising: drunk driving fatalities increased by almost five percent from 2019.
Drunk driving is measured by Total Fatality Rate, which is the number of deaths per 100 million vehicle miles. In 2020, the fatality rate was 1.34, a significant increase over 2019’s rate of 1.10. On the plus side, 2020’s rate is not necessarily indicative of a trend, as prior to 2020, the fatality rate had been steadily decreasing for many years.
Effects of Drunk Driving
The major dangers of drunk driving are death and serious injury to both the intoxicated driver and others on the road. However, those are not the only possible consequences. Drunk drivers face serious legal penalties, ranging from significant fees to extended time behind bars.
“Even a first-time impaired driving charge carries the possibility of long-lasting legal problems,” says DC criminal defense attorney Shawn Sukumar of Price Benowitz Accident Injury Lawyers, LLP. . “Aside from fines, you might have to pay for classes or special equipment for your car. Also, your insurance rates could easily double.”
How to Prevent Drunk Driving
Drunk driving reduction focuses on twin pillars of education and legal penalties. Fortunately, many easy and affordable alternatives to drunk driving exist, such as ordering a rideshare or spending the night in a hotel.
Additionally, parents should begin drunk driving education when their children are young, ideally even before they start driving. Education should emphasize how driving is a serious responsibility, and any lapse in judgment can have lifelong consequences.
Despite an overall trend downward in fatalities, last year’s statistics present a sobering reminder that drunk driving remains a serious problem across the entire country. Fortunately, by obtaining and analyzing yearly data, education and enforcement strategies can be refined to hopefully reduce fatalities year after year. Supposue, you are arrested for conducting such a crime, you must appoint a drunk driving accident lawyer columbus ga to assit you with the legal proceedings