In Arkansas, alcohol is a factor in around one-third of traffic fatalities. It can take no more than a couple of drinks for the average person to be impaired beyond the legal limit, and the consequences for anyone that becomes involved in an accident can be devastating.
Education and alternatives
Most people know that driving under the influence of alcohol is dangerous and can lead to traffic accidents, yet a surprising number continue to do it. Many drivers who admitted in a 2021 survey by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation that they got behind the wheel after a few drinks said they did so because they still felt competent to drive. A much smaller number said they did so because they did not expect to get caught. However, in general, over the decades, greater awareness about drunk driving has led to fewer alcohol-related deaths on the road. The rise of ride-sharing apps has also made it easier for people to get home after a night out even in areas where public transportation might not exist.
Certain groups of people are more likely to drive drunk than others, particularly younger males. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that over half of drunk driving accidents that result in fatalities involve people between the ages of 21 and 34. Four times as many men are arrested or are in drunk driving accidents as women, and men are involved in far more fatalities related to drunk driving as well.
An ongoing issue
Drunk driving remains a serious problem despite progress on the issue. According to the NHTSA, more than 10,000 people die annually because of someone getting behind the wheel after too many drinks.
Drunk driving can be financially and physically catastrophic for both the driver and for passengers or other individuals who are involved in resulting accidents. Motorists should be aware of this and other potential hazards on the road, drive defensively and avoid distractions so that they might be in a better position to avoid an accident.