The facts about drunk driving are so horrendous and scary that simply to be aware of them will by itself introduce a measure of sobriety in us and a willingness to do more than just stand by while hundreds of people are killed or injured every year. You can literally help save a life today by simply reading the following statistics, understanding the gravity of the situation and by sharing these facts judiciously with those who you think may also be in a position to help.
1) One in three of us will be involved in an impaired driving accident during our lifetime.
2) One in three 13-year olds drinks alcohol.
3) Kids who start drinking young are 7 times more likely to be involved in a drunk driving accident.
4) More teenagers die in car accidents than from any other cause and one in three of these accidents are due to drinking and driving. The severity of accidents increases with the involvement of alcohol–2% property damage, 4% bodily injury, 22% death.
5) Six thousand people die every year because of teenage drinking and this is more than all other illegal drugs combined. More males than females are involved–26% male teens versus 13% female teens. Alcohol use makes it less likely that these kids will be wearing safety belts–of those that were killed in a drinking and driving accident, 73% were not wearing seat belts.
6) High school students who use alcohol or other illegal drugs are five times more likely to believe that good grades are not important and drop out of school.
7) One person will die every 50 minutes in a drunk driving accident in the United States. That’s 10,839 people this year.
8) One person is injured every minute in a drinking and driving accident. That’s over half a million people this year, the entire population of Tuscon, Arizona, Omaha, Nebraska, Sacramento, California or Atlanta, Georgia.
9) Every adult in the United States pays $500 every year because of impaired driving.
10) The average habitual drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before he is caught for the first time. These traffic stops often result in the identification of criminals who are suspected in other crimes.
Remember, today it is someone else’s son, daughter, father, mother, brother or sister who is killed or seriously injured by a drunk driver but tomorrow it could be your turn. No matter what you think, you are not special.