After years of declines, traffic fatalities in the United States are on the rise, and unfortunately, that same trend is in place for DUI-related deaths and injuries too, according to new statistics.
Every day, 28 people in the United States die in an alcohol-related vehicle crash—that’s one person every 53 minutes, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data reveals.
Although drunk driving fatalities have fallen by a third in the last three decades, the chance of being in an alcohol-impaired crash is still one in three during the course of a lifetime, the agency notes, adding that these deaths and damages contribute to a cost of $52 billion per year.
BackgroundChecks.org researched state DUI rankings using a combination of CDC, Department of Transportation data, and local state data. The group not only compiled the national figures, it created a comprehensive score for each state.
(Death toll rises as U.S. drivers keep engaging in distracted driving. Click Here for the story.)
This score shows which states have the biggest problems with DUIs. The top 10 for 2016 were Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, South Carolina, Mississippi, New Mexico, Kentucky and Maine.
Conversely, the 10 states with the least DUI problems are: New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, New Jersey, Utah, Rhode Island, Virginia, Indiana, Washington and Kansas.
“The fact that over 10,000 people a year die from DUI related accidents is a travesty,” said Trent Wilson, co-author of the research. “We hope this research will open some eyes and make people think twice before drinking and driving.”
DUIs were on the rise in 2016, according to data released late last year by the CDC and Mothers Against Drunk Driving. In 2015, 10,265 people were killed and 200,000 were injured as a direct result of someone driving under the influence.
In 2014, 9,967 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for nearly one-third (31%) of all traffic-related deaths in the United States, according to NHTSA.
The National Safety Council estimated up to 40,000 people were killed in traffic crashes on our nation’s roadways in 2016 — a 6% increase over 2015 and a 14% increase over 2014, marking the largest rise in traffic fatalities since 1964.
(Click Here for details about pedestrian deaths reaching a new high in 2016.)
“These tragedies must stop,” said MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church. “For the nearly 1 million victims MADD has served, we must all work together to pass stronger laws that will bring an end to the carnage on our roads.”
Among the Safety Council recommendations for safer roads is a recommendation that every state pass laws mandating ignition interlocks for all drunk drivers.
“MADD could not agree more with this recommendation,” Sheehey-Church said. “This is our Number One priority in the 22 states that do not have an all-offender ignition interlock law.
“States like Florida, Massachusetts, Oklahoma and Wisconsin will be hearing a lot from MADD this year. And we are working hard to make sure states that do have these laws keep them in place or even strengthen them to make them even more effective.”
The pressure is working as Florida recently introduced ignition interlock legislation. The new data updates MADD’s first-ever ignition interlock report, published in February 2016.
(Highway fatalities rising because drivers are getting worse. Click Here for the story.)
The data, collected from 11 major ignition interlock companies across the nation, shows 350,000 drunk driving attempts prevented in this past year alone. The previous 50-state report tallied 1.77 million ignition interlock stops since each state passed its current interlock law. This year, MADD calculated the totals for the past year and the past 10 years.
Tags: 2016 worse than 2015 for drunk driving, Drunk driving statistics, MADD, NHTSA drunk driving stats, TheDetroitBureau.com., U.S. drunk driving fatalities, U.S. drunk driving injuries increase, auto news, drunk driving deaths rising, drunk driving news, michael strong, thedetroitbureau