Driving under the influence of alcohol can be deadly, but that fact is well known and well established. Why, then, is the number of accidents in which alcohol played a role either increasing or staying roughly the same?
To truly answer this question, we need to understand some of the determining factors behind the statistics. Here are 4 drunk driving statistics and a break down of what they mean.
Coming from an eye opening survey conducted by The Zebra, a shocking number of college-age respondents believed they were fit to drive after 3 or 4 drinks. Is this a result of not-yet-fully developed brains and thought processes, or symbolic of a larger issue in the United States? While it may be impossible to definitively answer that question, the answer is most likely a combination of both.
This article from Live Science breaks down the societal influences of teens and young adults driving drunk. The most significant takeaway is that teens are significantly more likely to drive drunk after being a passenger in a vehicle in which the driver was intoxicated. This points to societal acceptance, and possibly even societal pressure, for young adults to drive drunk.
On the flip side, this article from NPR explains how brains are not fully developed until age 25, leading to irrational and often short-sighted decisions from those who have not yet reached that age. Brains that aren’t fully developed, combined with a societal acceptance of driving under the influence, is a recipe for disaster.
When breaking down DUI statistics by state, some interesting trends begin to emerge.
The first thing that stands out is the location of the states. Wyoming and Montana share a border, and both states can be classified as central America. That leads us to the question, can geography be a factor in people driving drunk?
The answer, it seems, is yes. According to this research article that examined the effects of geography on motor vehicle deaths, the way people interact with their society is determined largely by where that society is located, and the people that make it up. While it might be difficult to break down the exact factors that lead to hire DUI rates in certain states, it’s nearly impossible to deny the correlation.
The gender breakdown introduces more interesting questions and concepts into the conversation. Men being twice as likely as women to drive under the influence of alcohol is interesting, but meaningless if we can’t figure out any of the reasons behind it.
The stereotype of men taking more risks than women may indeed be a stereotype, but that doesn’t mean it's devoid of any truth. In fact, there’s science to back that claim. Whether it’s instinctive or learned, the fact is that men are more willing to put themselves in harm's way, and as a result, make more dangerous decisions.
Drunk driving remains one of the leading causes of roadway accidents. But in order to effectively combat the epidemic, people need to be educated on the problem.
By studying trends and patterns in DUI statistics, we learn about ways in which we may be able to prevent accidents, and keep our streets safer.