Drunk Driving has Declined but Still Accounts for a Third of Road Deaths
Drunk driving accounts for as many as one in three deaths on the roads of Virginia in any given year.
Although enforcement and other campaigns have reduced the scale of the problem it’s still sizeable and the long-term trend is scant consolation if you have lost a child or another loved one due to the actions of a drunk driver. In Virginia in 2011, there were 228 deaths due to drunk drivers which is 228 deaths too many.
On its website Mothers Against Drunk Driving points out when it was set up in 1980, more than 21,000 people were killed in drunk driving crashes each year. Since then organizations like this one have helped cut that deadly toll in half, but there is still a lot more work to be done.
Although America saw a large decrease in drunk driving fatalities from 1980 onwards, the number of deaths plateaued in the late 1990s.
In a recent report the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) stated: “The number of fatal crashes that involved drivers who had been drinking at the time of the crash has decreased during the past two decades. The proportion of crash fatalities that are alcohol-related – that occurred in crashes where at least one of the drivers and/or non-occupants involved had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or above – decreased at a steady rate from 53 percent in 1982 to 34 percent in 1997.”
The figure levelled off for two years and then rose by one percent in 2000 and remained at that level for two more years before it decreased to 33 percent in 2005. “The proportion of drivers involved in fatal crashes who had BAC of .08 or above decreased from 35 percent in 1982 to 20 percent in 1997 and leveled off thereafter.”
In some cases drivers who are not over the DUI limit may be causing fatal crashes. National statistics from the United States Census Bureau show that 37 percent of these fatal car accidents nationally were caused by people with a BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) between .01 percent and .07 percent, while people with a BAC of .08% – the legal limit – were responsible for 32% percent of the fatalities. This startling information indicates that even when you drive at or below the legal BAC limit, you significantly increase your risk of causing serious personal injury and death to other motorists.
If you have been hurt by a drunk driver or if you have lost a loved one you should call Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers at 757.455.0077.