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Drunk drivers are putting other road users at serious peril

Drunk driving has long been a problem in Michigan, but virtually nowhere in the United States is immune from this epidemic. What is worse is that crashes involving drunk drivers are some of the deadliest. These accidents are especially heartbreaking when innocent bystanders and responsible drivers are killed.

According to a recent CNN article, roughly one in five adults in America have suffered the consequences of someone else’s intoxication. In fact, in 2015, 53 million adults attributed at least one instance of harm to a drunk person. These instances of harm ranged from personal injury to property damage.

In the study cited by CNN, 22% of men and 23% of women reported becoming victimized by someone else’s drunken behavior. Some of the potential harms included in the study are as follows:

  •          Experiencing a traffic accident caused by a drunk driver
  •          Being a passenger in the vehicle with a drunk driver
  •          Vandalization of personal property
  •          Physical assault or harassment
  •          Marital problems

In April 2019, the AAA Foundation for Traffic and Safety also examined the patterns of driving while intoxicated, based on self-reported figures from drivers. The study identified drunk driving as a major public health problem and attributed 28% of road fatalities to drunk drivers. While many people believe younger drivers are the ones making irresponsible decisions on the road, older adults were overwhelmingly represented in the numbers.

In the study, 72.7% of respondents said that they had consumed alcohol in the past three months, while 13% reported “high-risk drinking.” Another 3.3% reported that they drove over the legal limit from time to time. The study found that heavier drinkers were more likely to get behind the wheel. Though more women responded that they had consumed alcohol recently, men were more likely to engage in high-risk drinking.

Both studies perhaps illustrate that drunk drivers will continue to pose a safety risk to other drivers on the road until the underlying issue of substance abuse is resolved. What is worse is that the drunkest of the lot seem more likely to get behind the wheel. This further increases the likelihood of more catastrophic car crashes.

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