Since human error is the leading cause of car accidents, you could argue that all accidents are fairly easy to prevent. If people did not make mistakes while driving, they would not cause accidents and we would not lose nearly 40,000 people each year to car accidents.
This is true, but drunk driving accidents stand out as some of the most avoidable crashes. Many people know that they’re impaired and try to drive anyway. Others are so intoxicated that they don’t know what they’re doing. Either way, if they just followed the laws and stayed out of the car while impaired, they wouldn’t cause these very serious crashes.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to know if that will ever be a reality. Despite laws and police crackdowns, we keep seeing massive drunk driving accident totals every year. How many people lose their lives in these crashes?
4 key statistics that paint the picture
There are many statistics that help to show just how much of a problem this is, but we’ll take a look at four of them here to illustrate just how dangerous drunk driving is:
- Every year, roughly 30% of traffic deaths are related to impaired driving, for more than 10,000 annual deaths.
- When you break this number down a bit more, you find that a person dies in a drunk driving crash every 52 minutes.
- Hundreds of children are killed by drunk drivers every year. In 2018, there were more than 230 of these cases.
- The cost of drunk driving is astonishing, clocking in around $44 billion every year.
No one gets in the car thinking that they’re going to cause an accident. Many drunk drivers assume it will “be fine this time” or that they “just have a short drive.” As you can see from the statistics, though, many of them are very wrong in these assertions, and these attitudes are why we see so many deaths every year. If you have lost a loved one to a drunk driver, you need to know about all of the legal options that you have.