7 Drunk Driving Facts and Statistics That Affect Your Patients
Authored by Audra Franchini
Why People Turn to Alcohol and Drug Rehabs
Several years ago, drunk driving was a hot topic. Thankfully, groups like MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) were formed to combat an epidemic of drunk-driving deaths. Since then, the subject has been overtaken by other forms of addiction. However there are still lives being impacted by drunk driving today.
Physicians discuss a variety of health and safety concerns with their patients, drunk driving isn’t high on the list of concerns unfortunately. Here are seven reasons why information about drunk driving should continue to be a topic among doctors, their patients, and the community.
Drunk Driving Facts and Statistics Every Doctor Should Know
The following drunk driving facts and statistics are taken from an article featured on The Fix -an addiction and recovery website.
- There are more DUIs on Thanksgiving than any other day. At this time of year—as well as other holidays—take special care to warn your patients of the dangers of drunk driving.
- The legal limit of blood alcohol content in Sweden and Norway is 0.02. Many countries have a limit of 0.05. The 0.08 blood alcohol content in the United States is actually one of the highest in the developed world. Many Americans are under the impression they can safely operate a motor vehicle with a high blood-alcohol content. In many cases, it can be a deadly decision.
- Drunk driving kills 500 people every year in the US. In that 500 they have a blood alcohol content that ranges between 0.05 and 0.08. Always encourage your patients to err on the side of caution when they estimate their blood alcohol content. When in doubt, they shouldn’t drive.
- Some 75% of American drunk drivers are male and between the ages of 21 and 35. If you meet these criteria you should learn more about drunk driving facts and statistics.
- Encourage your patients to designate a driver before they go to a party. It’s best if designated drivers consume no alcohol at all.
- Many factors, including public awareness, have made a huge difference in drunk driving statistics. Compare the 26,173 alcohol-related auto deaths in 1982 to 2009, when there were 12,744 deaths. Awareness does save lives.
- Every 53 minutes, someone in the United States dies in an automobile accident involving an alcohol-impaired driver. That accounts for 28 people every day.
In addition to giving your patients facts about drunk driving, recommend a few tools they can use if they are uncertain about driving. Recommend a blood alcohol content calculator, steering wheel lock, or Breathalyzer. Parents may be particularly interested in installing an alcohol detection-locking device, which requires the driver to pass a Breathalyzer test before he or she can start the ignition. Portable breathalyzers as small as a key ring fob are available for online purchase.
Encourage patients who have an alcohol-use disorder to reach out to Recovery Centers of America for an alcohol and drug rehab program. Call 1-800-RECOVERY to refer a patient.