40% of Fatal Car Accidents Involved Alcohol in 2013
Written by Greg on January 8, 2015
The Seriousness of Driving Under the Influence
There remains little doubt on the seriousness of driving while under the influence of alcohol. Many are aware that this can impair one’s perceptions, which are desperately needed to drive, while also delaying reaction times.
Despite this, there continues to be a large platform in terms of fatal car accidents that involve alcohol. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every day approximately 30 individuals in the United States will die in a motor vehicle crash that also involves alcohol.
This accounts for an average of one death per every 51 minutes and totals an estimated annual cost of $59 billion in damages. As one can imagine, the situation of alcohol-related crashes is dire and more information can be gleamed from viable research.
According to research conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, through its “Traffic Safety Facts”, there are both positives and negatives that can be garnered from the information presented.
On a lighter note, the research indicates that alcohol-related fatalities have decreased by 2.5% in 2013. In this regard, an alcohol related fatality is defined by the NHTSA as a fatality in crash in which one driver or motorcycle rider, known as an operator, has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of .08 g/dL or higher.
The research also indicates that motorcycle drivers involved in fatal crashes present the greatest decrease at 8.3%, which translates to an average of 117 riders.
However, the research does indicate that large-truck drivers showed a significant increase in regards to fatalities of alcohol-related crashes. The research showcases that this increase is at 18% which is a major cause for worry.
In addition, the research also indicates that alcohol still plays a role in 40% of all fatal car accidents in 2013. In total, 2013 saw a total of 32,719 fatalities and of those, 10,076 were alcohol-related.
The research overall showcases that the fatality composition of 2013 alcohol-related crashes is as follows:
- Passenger Car Occupants: 37%
- Light-truck Occupants: 28%
- Pedestrians, Bicyclists, and Other Nonoccupants: 17%
- Motorcyclists: 14%
- Large-Truck, Bus, and Other Vehicle Occupants: 4%
What this research works to show is that, even though there is a decrease in some areas in terms of alcohol-related fatalities in crashes, overall the situation in Texas is still very serious.
As mentioned previously, this is largely due to the fact that the addition of alcohol can create many problems for drivers. It delays reaction time, lowers one’s perceptions, and can essentially cause the vehicle to be a high-moving hazard to anyone that is on the roadway, including the driver and their passengers.
As the CDC points out, not only do drivers run the risk of injury or death, but they can potentially put passengers and other drivers and their passengers at risk as well. As the statistics work to showcase, the problem is still very serious in spite of the slight decrease in some areas.
To this extent, one must be very cautious when driving on the roadway, in urban and rural environments, and especially in regard to refraining to driving while under the influence of alcohol.