It is no secret that driving under the influence of alcohol is dangerous, and yet drunk drivers still cause thousands of deaths every year across the United States. Drivers who drink before getting behind the wheel endanger you and everyone else in their paths. While the number of drunk driving-related wrecks has declined in recent years, it is still much too high.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drunk drivers claim a life every 50 minutes across the United States, leading to the loss of about 30 lives a day and 10,000 lives a year. In 2018 alone, there were 10,511 traffic fatalities that were the result of drunk drivers.
How driving drunk hinders performance
When other motorists drive drunk, it often impacts their performance in many ways. Alcohol affects brain function and judgment, and this may make drivers more likely to take dangerous risks and less likely to avoid crashes they might be able to if not under the influence.
Alcohol impairment also impacts muscle coordination. This, too, may impact reaction time and make a drunk driver less likely to be able to avoid crashing into you. Drinking alcohol may, too, impact a driver’s vision, and this may also enhance crash risks. How much alcohol a motorist consumes has a direct impact on his or her driving ability, with larger amounts of alcohol often coinciding with poorer driving performance.
Risk factors associated with drunk driving
Research shows that today’s drunk drivers are often young and male. Male motorists between the ages of 21 and 24 are the most likely to engage in dangerous drunk driving behaviors.
Find more about injuries and fatalities caused by drunk drivers on our webpage.