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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Drunk Driving Remains High With Young Adults

Drunk driving continues to be a huge dilemma across the United States, a problem that constantly needs to be addressed by law makers and police officers. While the number of drunk driving incidents have been dropping overall, drunk driving amongst young adults continues to stay high - especially with young men, binge-drinkers, and people who do not wear seat belts, according to a report conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“Drunk driving is a public health problem with far-reaching effects,” Linda C. Degutis, Dr.P.H., M.S.N., Director of CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, said in a news release. “Drunk drivers, who have delayed reaction times and reflexes, put even the most responsible drivers and pedestrians in harm’s way.”

There were an estimated 112 million drunk-driving incidents in 2010, or an average of 300,000 per day, according to HealthDay. Drunk driving accounts for almost 11,000 traffic fatalities annually, about one-third of the total.

The CDC found:
  • Men account for 81 percent of drunk drivers.
  • Men ages 21 to 34 make up 11 percent of the population, they account for 32 percent of drunk drivers.
  • 85 percent of adults who admitted to drinking and driving said they binge drink.
  • People who reported not wearing a seat belt were four times as likely to be involved in a drunk driving incident.
The recession may play a part in the overall drop of drunk driving incidents, with more people drinking at home rather than driving to bars or restaurants, according to CDC Director Dr. Thomas R. Frieden. In an attempt to reduce drunk driving rates even more the CDC recommended:
  • sobriety checkpoints
  • keeping the minimum drinking age at 21 in all states
  • requiring convicted drunk drivers to use ignition interlocks

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