Drunk driving is responsible for millions of deaths globally. Being aware of some facts can help you avoid being part of the problem. Here are some of the top facts you need to know.

Top 5 Facts to Keep You Sober Behind the Wheel

The severity of the problem (Death facts, prevalence facts and much more.)

Drunk driving is a serious issue when you understand how big of a problem it is. According to the latest statistics from the CDC (Center for Disease Control & Prevention), 29% of all traffic accident-related deaths in the U.S. are caused by DUI. In regards to the prevalence, one person dies every 51 minutes in the U.S. because of drunk driving. From a financial standpoint, alcohol related accidents cost the U.S. economy over $44 billion every year.

What’s more disheartening is; 16% of traffic deaths involving children aged 0 – 14 are alcohol related. In 2015 for instance, 209 children deaths involved alcohol-impaired drivers. In regards to arrests, over 1 million drivers are arrested every year in the U.S. for DUI offenses. It’s also worth noting that over 100 million U.S. drivers have admitted to operating a vehicle under the influence at least once in their lifetime. These statistics are shocking given the consequences of drunk driving.

It gets worse when you discover drunk driving is a global problem with countries like South African and Canada in a worse state than the U.S. According to the latest Global Status Report on Road Safety, the percentage of alcohol-related road accidents in South African and Canada is 58% and 34% respectively. If you thought drunk driving was a small problem affecting one country, think again.

Risk facts

The latest CDC statistics indicate that drunken driving risks are greatest among young people aged between 21 and 44 years. This age group accounts for 78% of all alcohol-related accidents that happened in 2015. Considering most drivers on our roads today are young, these drunk driving risk facts should keep you sober.

Blood alcohol concentration facts

The effects of alcohol on your body are measured according to your BAC or blood alcohol concentration. When you take two drinks, your BAC increases to about 0.02%. Some of the most common effects of this include; slight body warmth, some loss of judgment, relaxation and an altered mood. If you choose to drive when you have taken two drinks, you risk having divided attention or an inability to perform multiple asks at one time. You also risk having declined visual functions. For instance, you may begin experiencing problems tracking moving targets.

In a nutshell, operating a vehicle becomes a challenge instantly the moment you finish two drinks. It becomes worse with time. After three drinks (0.05% BAC) for instance, you will experience some difficulty steering if you attempt to drive. Your coordination will also be impaired slightly as well as your ability to respond to road emergencies. After five drinks (0.1% BAC), your ability to brake appropriately as well as maintain lane position reduces significantly. Once your BAC reaches 0.15%, you have substantial impairments in auditory/visual information processing, vehicle control and attention to multiple driving tasks at once. When you look at blood alcohol facts in-depth in relation to driving, you put your life at risk immediately when you finish your first drink.

Jail facts related to drunk driving

Many countries including the U.S. have a no tolerance policy for DUI cases involving drivers under the age of 21. You can get hefty fines, lose your license and even land in jail for years if you are caught drunk driving and you are under 21 years old in the U.S. The consequences for drunk drivers falling outside this age bracket are also dire. Checkout the jail facts relating to drunk driving in-depth to understand why you should drive only when you are sober.

Prevention facts

It’s easy to avoid being part of the drunken driving menace. This alone should be enough to inspire you to stay sober whenever you plan on driving. It takes little measures to stop the serious consequences of DUI. For instance, you should plan for alternative transport ahead of time if you are planning on drinking alcohol away from home. You can select a designated driver or take a taxi home. Last but not least, never board a vehicle being driven by a person under the influence of alcohol.