Driving under the influence of alcohol is an accident waiting to happen. In an attempt to discourage people from driving drunk, all 50 U.S. states have introduced severe DUI penalties, including jail time, hefty fines, community service and a loss of driving privileges. Still, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an average of 28 people die in drunk driving accidents every day.
American culture normalizes alcohol use and glamorizes the personal freedom of driving. When paired, the two can be deadly. Here are some more drunk driving statistics drivers and passengers need to know.
- About one-third of car crash fatalities in the U.S. involve drunk drivers.
- The annual cost of alcohol-related car crashes is more than $44 billion.
- Almost twice as many alcohol-related and fatal car crashes occur during the weekends.
- The U.S. Department of Transportation recently reported that approximately 20,160 people died in motor vehicle crashes in the first half of 2021, an 18.4% increase over 2020.
- Impaired drivers make holidays among the most dangerous times to be on the road. New Year’s Eve is the deadliest day of the year for drunk driving, followed by the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving.
Why Do People Drive Drunk?
Tireless campaigning from advocacy groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving and rigorous enforcement of penalties by state and local police have combined to make people more aware of the perils of driving drunk. So, why would any driver put themselves and others in danger by driving under the influence?
Clouded judgment plus an overinflated sense of confidence can have deadly outcomes.
- After a few drinks, people may dramatically underestimate how impaired they are, insisting they have not lost the sharp focus, coordination skills and split-second reaction time necessary to safely operate a vehicle.
- Some drivers might also be embarrassed or unwilling to admit they are not in full control and get behind the wheel to save face.
- Drivers who have managed to evade DUI charges in the past could convince themselves that they are invincible and will never get caught.
Sadly, flawed logic like this has led to entirely preventable tragedies. Don’t add to these drunk driving statistics. If you plan to go somewhere and drink even one beer or glass of wine, do not drive. Appoint a designated driver, use a ridesharing service or make plans to stay in a hotel. Your life, future and liberty are too valuable to gamble with.
Accredited Addiction Treatment in California
For some people, the consequences of a DUI serve as the epiphany they need to realize they have hit bottom and must seek help. If you have had more than one DUI conviction, a judge might order you to enroll in a substance abuse treatment program instead of sentencing you to jail time.
Regardless of your reason for wanting to get sober, there is no time like the present to regain control of your life. At Pillars Recovery, we offer a full continuum of addiction treatment care to provide a customized experience to each client. If you are ready to learn more about starting your journey, reach out to us today.