Driving under the influence continues to be a significant problem in Pennsylvania and throughout the rest of the United States. Every year, thousands of people across the country are injured or killed in car accidents caused by those who drive under the influence of alcohol. Many more are arrested for driving while intoxicated. Others are pulled over because a police officer suspects they are intoxicated even though they are innocent.
The court system has ways to address the issues of all of the aforementioned parties. In any case, to get a more complete idea of the problem’s significance, consider the following statistics for both the United States as a whole, and Pennsylvania in particular:
U.S. Drunk Driving Car Accident Statistics (2009)
National statistics in 2009 tell a story of both progress and setbacks when it comes to drunk driving.
In 2009 across the United States:
- Every state in the union, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C., set the illegal blood alcohol limit at .08.
- Drivers with a blood alcohol level higher than the aforementioned limit caused 67 percent of all traffic fatalities involving alcohol.
- 32 percent of all fatal auto accidents in 2009 involved drivers who were under the influence of alcohol.
- Every 48 minutes, one person on average died because of a driver who was driving under the influence of alcohol.
Drunk Driving Statistics
The most complete drunk driving statistics for Pennsylvania and the rest of the country are available through 2010. These statistics paint a mixed picture regarding the progress of drunk driving awareness and driving safety.
Across the United States in 2010:
- Deaths caused by drunk driving declined by nearly 5 percent.
- Approximately 16,000 people were killed as the result of auto accidents caused by drunk drivers.
- About half of all traffic fatalities involved the use of alcohol.
Across the state of Pennsylvania in 2010:
- There was a decrease of about 300 alcohol-related car accidents from 2009 levels.
- 459 people were killed in auto accidents involving drunk driving, which is an increase of 10 from 2009.
- An average of 34 drunk-driving-related accidents occurred every day.
- An average of 26 people were injured in drunk-driving-related accidents every day.
Little-Known Drunk Driving Facts
The above statistics do not tell the whole story about drunk driving, however. There are several little-known facts about drunk driving that provide more information and help individuals know whether they are at a particularly high risk of being involved in a drunk-driving-related accident.
Consider these facts
- Three out of every ten Americans will be in a car accident caused by alcohol during their lifetimes.
- A vehicular accident involving alcohol is four times more likely to occur at night than during the day.
- Almost 75 percent of drivers who cause accidents while driving under the influence of alcohol are male.
- Young drinkers (ages 21–34) cause more fatal auto accidents involving alcohol than any other age group.
- Statistically speaking, Thanksgiving has the largest number of traffic fatalities involving drunk drivers.