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Nathan J. Stuckey
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Drunk driving has decreased, but not enough

by | Jun 30, 2020 | Injuries

Remember when you were a kid. You knew it was summer in Springfield because you would all get in the car and drive to your Uncle Jim’s house for a barbeque. Mom would help Aunt Laura in the kitchen while your dad and uncle would stand over the flames drinking bottles of Bud and flipping the meat.

A lot of things have changed since the ‘80s. You grew up and had kids of your own, Aunt Laura left your uncle, and your dad now drinks brewed craft beer and does not drink and drive. 

Once upon a time, having a drink, then getting in your car, was accepted. Most people did it without a second thought. It took years of campaigns and the introduction of stiffer penalties to change people’s mindsets. It was worth it though: Drunk driving fatalities have dropped 50% since 1982, according to a 2018 report from the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility. To put this into perspective, overall traffic fatalities, only dropped 17% over the same period.

It is not just the older generation who have got the message. Drunk driving fatalities in under 21-year-olds have plummeted a staggering 81% since 2018. Kids grow up, knowing it is not acceptable to drink and drive.

Despite these impressive statistics, over 10,000 people still died on U.S. roads in 2018 due to a drunk driver, accounting for 29% of all road deaths. Many more people are injured in car crashes caused by drunken drivers. Not everyone has got the message yet.


Nathan J. Stuckey