DATA POINTS: Alcohol and traffic deaths
Between 1982 and 1993, 266,291 deaths in the United
States were alcohol-related -- one fatality every 30 minutes.
Traffic fatalities in alcohol-related crashes rose by 4
percent from 1994 to 1995. The 17,274 alcohol-related
fatalities in 1995 (41 percent of total traffic fatalities
for the year) represent a 24 percent reduction from the
22,715 alcohol-related fatalities reported in 1985 (52
percent of the total).
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
estimates that alcohol was involved in 41 percent of fatal
crashes and in 7 percent of all crashes in 1995.
The 17,274 fatalities in alcohol-related crashes during
1995 represent an average of one alcohol-related fatality
every 30 minutes.
More than 300,000 people were injured in crashes where
police reported that alcohol was present -- an average of one
person injured approximately every two minutes.
Approximately 1.4 million drivers were arrested in 1994
for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. This
is an arrest rate of one for every 127 licensed drivers in
the United States.
In 1995, 32 percent of all traffic fatalities occurred
in crashes in which at least one driver or nonoccupant had a
blood-alcohol content of .10 or greater. More than
two-thirds of the 13,564 people killed in such crashes were
themselves intoxicated. The remaining one-third were
passengers, nonintoxicated drivers, or nonintoxicated
The rate of alcohol involvement in fatal crashes is
three and one-third times as high at night as during the day
(62.3 percent vs. 18.8 percent). For all crashes, the alcohol
involvement rate is nearly five times as high at night (14
percent vs. 3 percent).
In 1995, 32 percent of all fatal crashes during the week
were alcohol-related, compared to 54 percent on weekends. For
all crashes, the alcohol involvement rate was 5 percent
during the week and 11 percent during the weekend.
In 1995, 32.5 percent of all fatal traffic accidents
involved drivers with a blood-alcohol content of greater than
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