You are likely well aware that drunk driving is dangerous–practically everyone does. However, you may not realize the severity of the issue or the history of DUI laws. Learning about the statistics and details of impaired driving can open your eyes to the problem even more.

The National Safety Council collects data about driving under the influence of alcohol, raises awareness about the dangers of drunk driving and supports preventative measures. Here is some of the most compelling information from the NSC about impairment:

Alcohol and fatal crashes

Did you know that drunk drivers contribute to one-third of traffic deaths? This means driving while drunk causes approximately 10,000 deaths each year in the United States. Because of this disturbing reality, the NSC supports the efforts of states to lower blood alcohol concentration limits. The NSC also supports a nationwide campaign to remind people that impairment starts with the first drink of alcohol. 

History of drunk-driving prevention

Although the number of DUI-related crashes is still too high, it is much lower than it used to be. The federal government and state legislatures changed a lot of laws regarding drunk driving in the 1980s, such as increasing the drinking age to 21, lowering the BAC limit to 0.08 and releasing educational campaigns. 

Effects of drunk driving

It is important to remember why getting behind the wheel while drunk is dangerous. Consumption of alcohol results in the following impairments:

  • Slow reaction time – When alcohol enters your system, it affects your ability to respond to situations.
  • Reduced concentration – Without the ability to concentrate, you may not be able to stay in your lane or focus on how fast you are going.
  • Lack of coordination – Drinking impairs your hand, eye and foot coordination.
  • Impaired judgment – Judgment helps you remain aware of your surroundings.

More campaigns and laws are necessary to stop drunk driving accidents from occurring.