As I said earlier, my son was taking Drivers Ed. One of the other things he told me he learned was that 50% of all accidents involved some type of impairment. This number sounded high so I thought I would look into it. Here is what I found.
Every day, 29 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver.1 This is one death every 50 minutes.1 The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes totals more than $44 billion.2
Thankfully, there are effective measures that can help prevent injuries and deaths from alcohol-impaired driving.
- At all levels of blood alcohol concentration (BAC), the risk of being involved in a crash is greater for young people than for older people.6
- Among drivers with BAC levels of 0.08% or higher involved in fatal crashes in 2016, nearly three in 10 were between 25 and 34 years of age (27%). The next two largest groups were ages 21 to 24 (26%) and 35 to 44 (22%).1
- Among motorcyclists killed in fatal crashes in 2016, 25% had BACs of 0.08% or greater.1
- Motorcyclists ages 35-39 have the highest percentage of deaths with BACs of 0.08% or greater (38% in 2016).7
- Drivers with a BAC of 0.08% or higher involved in fatal crashes were 4.5 times more likely to have a prior conviction for DWI than were drivers with no alcohol in their system. (9% and 2%, respectively).1
What are the effects of blood alcohol concentration (BAC)?Information in this table shows the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level at which the effect usually is first observed.
|Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)*||Typical Effects||Predictable Effects on Driving|
About 2 alcoholic drinks**
About 3 alcoholic drinks**
About 4 alcoholic drinks**
About 5 alcoholic drinks**
About 7 alcoholic drinks**
How can deaths and injuries from impaired driving be prevented?Effective measures include:
What safety steps can individuals take?Whenever your social plans involve alcohol and/or drugs, make plans so that you don’t have to drive while impaired. For example: