Decline in Drunken Driving Incidents
Written by Faith Anderson on October 5, 2011
2010 Rate of Drunk Driving Incidents Lowest in Over a Decade
The CDC report is based on a 2010 telephone survey involving about 210,000 adults in the United States. Nearly one in 50 said they had driven drunk at least once in the previous month, which means about four million Americans drove drunk last year. Although about 60% said they had driven drunk only once, some said they did it daily. This information led the CDC to estimate that there were more than 112 million episodes of drunk driving in 2010, which equals about 300,000 incidents a day.
Although this seems like an impossible number of drunk driving occurrences, it was actually the lowest estimate since that same survey question was first asked in 1993, and is down significantly from the 161 million incidents in the peak year of 2006. According to the federal report, young men account for the population most likely to drive drunk. While men 21 to 34 years of age make up for only 11% of the population in the U.S., they are responsible for 32% of the drunken driving incidents.
Drunk Driving Still One of the Leading Causes of Death
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has also seen indications of an apparent decline in drunk driving. According to the agency’s latest data, the number of people killed in U.S. crashes involving drivers under the influence of alcohol dropped from 11,711 in 2008 to 10,839 in 2009. “While the nation has made great strides in drunk driving over the years, it continues to be one of the leading causes of death and injury on America’s roads – claiming a life every 48 minutes,” said David Strickland, NHTSA administrator.