According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about one-third of all fatalities from traffic collisions involve intoxicated drivers. Though anyone can be a drunk driver, there are some common characteristics associated with people who get behind the wheel while impaired.
As a motorist, make sure you understand the common risk factors associated with drunk driving and how to reduce your own risk while on the road.
The NHTSA reports that, in 2019, 27% of all drunk drivers were age 21 to 24, and 25% were between 25 and 34 years old. Many young people lack experience with alcohol and may not understand their limits. Additionally, they are more likely to overestimate their driving skills and underestimate the potential risks of operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
If you are the parent of a teenager or young adult, talk to your child about the dangers of drunk driving and emphasize the potential consequences, which can include jail time, fines and license suspension.
Of the motorcyclists killed in traffic crashes in 2019, 29% were under the influence of alcohol. In fact, motorcyclists are more likely than any other type of motorist to operate their vehicle while intoxicated. If you ride a motorcycle, remember that you are subject to the same laws as passenger vehicles.
People with a history of drunk driving
People with prior DWI convictions are significantly more likely to cause a fatal accident in the future. If you have a history of drunk driving, you may need to seek professional help to manage your alcohol problem.
Whether you are in one of these risk groups or not, always practice common sense when it comes to alcohol consumption. Use a designated driver or rideshare app if you plan on drinking, and only consume alcohol in moderation.