According to the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, in 2017, an estimated number of 10,874 people died in drunk driving accidents due to a driver with a blood alcohol level (BAC) of 0.8 or greater, which is considered illegal. Alcohol level is measured by the weight of the alcohol in a certain volume of blood, called Blood Alcohol Concentration or BAC.
Out of this estimation, about 67%, 7,052/10,874, were in accidents due to the driver having a blood alcohol level of 0.15 or higher. At a BAC of .08 grams of alcohol per deciliter of blood (g/dL), accident risk increases exponentially. Alcohol impairment is generally defined equally all throughout the 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The BAC level for the age 21 and over is 0.08 percent. The BAC level for underage drinking, beneath 21, is about 0.
02 percent. (“Facts + Statistics: Alcohol-Impaired Driving | III”) There are strict laws for underage drinking where zero tolerance is shown by the officers. However, despite these strict laws we are still seeing drinking and driving accidents gradually becoming a “common reason of death”. This act of “comfort” and “acceptance” of the fact that these reasons for death have become so common, is the main reason as to why this issue has developed so far ahead that it has escalated to become a public health crisis.Drunk driving is not only a public health crisis in regards to costing about $44 billion per year (“NHTSA: Drunk Driving”) but most importantly the lives at stake due to driving with an alcohol level (BAC) of 0.
08 percent. Alcohol is a substance that reduces the function of the brain, impairing thinking, reasoning and muscle coordination. All of which, are essential to operating a vehicle safely. At 0.08 percent blood alcohol concentration the most predictable effects on driving are weak concentration, short-term memory loss, speed control, reduced information processing capability (e.g.
, signal detection, visual search), and impaired perception. (“NHTSA: Drunk Driving”) At .10 and 0.15, predicted effects on driving are deduced ability to maintain lane position and brake appropriately, substantial impairment in vehicle control, attention to driving task, and in necessary visual and auditory information processing. (“NHTSA: Drunk Driving”) Though it is more common for men to commit the error of driving under the influence, women do not fall too far behind.
In 2016, 21 percent of males were drunk in these crashes, compared to 14 percent for females. In 2017, the drinking and driving fatality rate was 3.3 per 100,000 population nationality. (“Drunk Driving Fatalities”) This is a record kept for every individual regardless of the age. The record kept by the U.S.
Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), on average, every 50 minutes of the day, an alcohol-impaired traffic incident/death is recorded. (“Facts + Statistics: Alcohol-Impaired Driving | III”) The social aspect of drinking is a major contribution to the recklessness and influence to drinking and driving. Referencing the social cognitive theory, if one does not have a strong moral ethical opinion on the safety of driving under the influence then their behavior will show recklessness, also influencing those around him or her to do the same. In contrast, if one would stand up and take action to preventing driving under the influence within their social drinking circle then the risk of any fatal accidents could be avoided.
It could be as small of a task as driving a friend home, or designating a sober driver. Initiating the change within your own personal beliefs then spreading it to those around you for them to spread to others could be represented in the social ecological model. As we spread not only the dangers but also the actions we can take to prevent driving under the influence to those in our social environments, then we can start a change. It is common knowledge that drinking and driving can lead to unwanted incidents and they carry a serious penalty.
Although we know driving while drunk is illegal, everyday we see people becoming victims of motor vehicle accidents or even death. Almost everyday, there are about 30 people who are killed due to a drunk driver being involved. Due to this growing statistic, we see states cracking down on drunk driving and enforcing very strict DUI laws to prevent these accidents from happening. Drinking and driving is a problem as it is, but alongside arises another problem: underage drinking. Almost every teen in the world looks forward to their 21st birthday because with this new age comes great perks. One of which know is the legal age to purchase alcoholic beverages.
Sadly, most teens don’t wait to become of legal age before they start consuming consuming. As a result of this we see many teen drivers behind the wheel drunk. According to the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, for every 100,000 Americans under the age of 21, 1.2 people died due to drinking and driving. If teens followed the necessary precautions when it comes to this matter most accidents would never occur. There are many ways to prevent such devastating things and if people know they will get drunk they should definitely follow these prevention methods.
If each step is implemented then we can reduce the amount of people being subject to harm. Studies have shown, “There has been a 47% decrease of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities since The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility began in 1991 (Foundation for Advanced Alcohol Responsibility: Drunk Driving Fatalities).” Prevention steps include things such as making arrangement before getting drunk. This means if you know you are going to be drinking then make sure you have a designated driver to get you home.
Next, you can carpool with friends and make sure the designated driver does not drink. Also, wear your seatbelt, although it may sound like common sense but when you are drunk and your abilities are impaired you are going to wish this was the easiest thing you remembered in case of a crash. Lastly, the best way to prevent drunk driving would be to not drink at all. How would you feel if your family member was involved in a crash due to the negligence of a drunk driver? So with this in mind never get behind the wheel of a vehicle if you are drunk, help save your own life as well as the lives of other innocent drivers. In conclusion, drinking and driving causes more harm than good.
Every year more and more people are dying due to the selfishness of drunk drivers. While drunk driving can carry hefty penalties it still doesn’t get rid of the problem. State law enforcement do their best to protect millions of Americans by catching drunk drivers and either arresting them or serving them with steep fines.
By doing this, they are getting drunk drivers off the roads for our safety and decreasing the likelihood of a drunk driver fatality.”The record keeping for drinking and driving began in 1982. With that being said, in 1982 the number of people under the age of 21 that were killed in drunk driving accidents are 5,215. In 2016, this number has decreased quite significantly and was estimated to be around 1,031 (Foundation for Advanced Alcohol Responsibility: Drunk Driving Fatalities).” By following preventative steps you help ensure the safety of everyone around you.