Although the number of deaths caused by drunk driving has shown a slight decrease over the past few years, alcohol still plays a major role in motor vehicle accidents. According to Transport Canada ‘Alcohol use by drivers was a factor in almost 30 percent of deaths from vehicle crashes during 2003-2005’. That may seem like a lot but it is actually a 10 percent decrease from the number of alcohol related fatalities between 1996-2001.
The age of the driver also plays a role in the number of alcohol related accidents. During 2003-2005 approximately 76 percent of drunk drivers in fatal crashes were under the age of 45. Teenagers are also involved in a lot of drinking and driving accidents since they are inexperienced at both driving and drinking. For drivers ages 16-19 the number of people who drank alcohol and were then involved in a fatal accident decreased by 15 percent between 1996-2001 and 2003-2005. This improvement was most likely because of the new graduated licensing that was put in effect in 1994. Although there was an improvement the crash involvement was still out of proportion with the number of licensed drivers, meaning that teenagers were driving illegally without a valid license.
Most of the time the victims of drunk drivers are the drivers themselves. Drunk drivers (excluding motorcyclists) account for about 63% of people killed in alcohol-related crashes. Motorcyclists (most were driving) account for almost 6% of fatalities. Driving in a vehicle with an intoxicated driver is really putting your life in jeopardy, and passengers make up for 22 percent of people killed. In alcohol related accidents bicyclists and pedestrians account for less then 4 % of fatalities. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that three out of ten Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related crash sometime during their lives. Since alcohol also impairs your judgment it can make you do things that you wouldn’t normally do when...
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