People who drive while impaired in Michigando not just put themselves at risk.
They are also endangering their passengers, as well as pedestrians and other motorists.
More than a third of those killed in alcohol-related crashes are not the impaired drivers, according to new statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
This is from the NHTSA newsletter Safety in Numbers:
Our attitudes on impaired driving have changed but we still have room for improvement.
Those impaired drivers still claim the lives of nearly 10,000 people a year – and one-third are their passengers, occupants of other vehicles, pedestrians, or bicyclists.
More Drunk Drivers Are Calling Cabs
In a survey conducted 40 years ago, almost one in 12 drivers (8 percent) were found to be driving drunk. A more recent study found that the rate has dropped to one in 50 (2 percent).
Along the same lines, a national telephone study by the NHTSA (National Survey of Drinking and Driving Attitudes and Behaviors) showed that most drivers are taking steps to avoid driving while impaired.
More than half (53 percent) of drivers who felt they had too much to drink said they had chosen not to get behind the wheel at least once in the past year. Instead, they used a designated driver, rode with another person, called a cab or slept over at a friend’s house.
All this is good news, but there are troubling signs as well.
For instance, while fatalities in motor vehicle crashes have fallen in recent years, the percentage of people dying in drunk-driving crashes has remained the same for the past 10 years.
And drunk drivers cost our economy nearly $60 billion a year.
Close to 10,000 DUI Deaths
In 2011, 9,878 people lost their lives because of drunk driving.
Here is a breakdown of those deaths:
- 1,612 were passengers in cars where the driver had a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher.
- 1,049 were occupants of other vehicles.
- 710 were pedestrians or bicyclists.
- 91 were child passengers of drivers with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher.
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