Holiday Season Brings Out Alcohol-Impaired Drivers and Increased Risks of Fatal Car Accidents in Boca Raton

In the late 1960s, the federal government released the Alcohol and Highway Safety Report. This was the first study that collected and reported data on the dangers of drunk driving-related car accidents in Boca Raton and elsewhere. One of the main publishers of the report, William Haddon, was former director of the National Highway Safety Bureau and president of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. A year later, Haddon published an article in Popular Science that outlined some of the background on how the report was put together.

Haddon said there were about 56,000 deaths annually because of traffic accidents that involved a drunk driver back then. There were about 800,000 total accidents resulting from drunk driving during the same time. He classified many of the intoxicated drivers as average people; students, mothers, fathers, hard workers, social drinkers and teenagers.

Our Boca Raton car accident attorneys understand what a groundbreaking report this was. This was one of the first major projects used to educate the public about just how dangerous and common this behavior was. Back then, the drunk-driving blood-alcohol limit was 0.15 in many states. The blood alcohol concentration today is much lower at 0.08. Still we’re seeing far too many drunk driving-related accidents. With the holiday season approaching, we urge residents to be careful and sober on our roadways as this is a time when we typically see an increase in the number of alcohol-related car accidents on our roadways.

Drunk-driving arrests peaked at just under 2 million in 1983. In 1996, there were about 1.5 million drunk-driving arrests in the country, but alcohol-related accidents were still way too high. Many believe this decline was a result of the legal drinking-age increase. In 1984, the legal drinking age was pushed from 18 to 21 in 1984.

Drunk-driving statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

-Approximately 11,000 people were killed on our roadways in 2010 because of drunk-driving accidents. This was the third highest cause for traffic-related deaths in the U.S.

-Estimates conclude that U.S. drivers got behind the wheel about more than 110 million times in 2010.

-Self-reported incidents of drunk driving have decreased by about 30 percent in recent years.

-Approximately 5 percent of adults reported to have engaged in binge drinking at least four times a month. These incidents accounted for nearly 60 percent of all reported alcohol-related episodes.

-Male drivers between the ages of 20 and 35 account for only 11 percent of the country’s population, but accounted for more than 30 percent of reported drunk driving episodes.

-The Midwest region of the country accounted for more drunk-driving incidents than any other region in the U.S. This area calculated about 650 incidents per 1,000 people. The country’s average is about 480 per 1,000. North Dakota is the state with the most frequent reporting of these types of accidents with 988 episodes per 1,000.

Many researchers believe that these statistics are even higher as they think that many episodes are never reported. We urge all drivers to travel sober throughout the year.