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Alcohol Consumption and Traffic Crashes in US
September 20, 2010
Chris M. Alexander
An organization called Insurance Institute for Highway Safety keeps track of alcohol consumption and traffic accident in the U.S. It is a neutral party that investigates the reasons behind traffic crashes, injuries and deaths on the highways of America. Insurance companies help the organization by donating money for its work hoping that the results of their investigation will reduce the number of accident on the roads which is in the insurance companies’ best interest. This organization also keeps track of alcohol consumption and traffic crashes in the U.S.
Effects of Alcohol Consumption and Traffic Crashes in US
It is not easy to calculate the proportion of traffic accidents and automobile crashes that involve alcohol consumption. Getting definite numbers is not entirely possible. Even though drinking is known to elevated the chances of vehicle accidents but its presence alone is not enough to say it caused an accident. All accidents that a driver has with an elevated blood alcohol level are not caused by drinking.
Statistical Difficulties in Calculating Alcohol Consumption and Accidents
To find out the amount of accidents caused by alcohol consumption, it first has to be established how many times people in America drive while drinking and do not cause accidents. This is a stat that is rarely measured and is difficult to come by.
Results of Studies Done on Fatal Traffic Accident and Alcohol Consumption
A study done in 2002 by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) estimated a number just below 40% represented the number of all traffic deaths that happened with one of the drivers having a blood alcohol level of .08 percent or above. This stat is used to show proof that 1/3 to 1/2 of all deadly accidents are caused by alcohol consumption and that the accidents would not have happened if alcohol consumption was not somehow involved. However making this assumption is not entirely accurate and is a little misleading due to the fact that alcohol is just one of many factors which affect accident and people that drive while intoxicated.
Using estimated calculations to come up with numbers
The above stat may be accurate but it is still based partially on estimated numbers and incomplete information. More accurate studies show that only about 13 percent of all vehicle operators involved in deadly accidents in the US during a specific year were known to have had high levels of alcohol in their systems due to consumption. This number is more accurate because it is based off looking at the official records of all crashes that involve a deaths during that year in the U.S. this takes out the guess work of early studies and shows a reduced rate of alcohol consumption and traffic crashes in the U.S.
Consider also that these studies are all based on crashes that involve fatalities because these accidents will most certainly be reported. How many accidents which involve alcohol consumption or no alcohol consumption are not ever reported to any agency? This will make you understand how many facts that are reported in the popular press which are based on guesswork and estimations are reported as fact.
Reducing factors which contribute to crashes in US
Alcohol consumption is just one factor in reducing preventable traffic crashes and there has been a drop in alcohol related crashes over the years, this does not negate the fact that we must do more to prevent drunk driving it just points to the fact that we must do even more to reduce crashes caused by all factors like a cell phone users, aggressive drivers, or sleepy drivers. They must all be reduced.
Tags: Alcohol Consumption, DWI Crashes
This entry was posted
Monday, September 20th, 2010 at
4:02 am and is filed under
Alcohol, DWI Issues .
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