A new study informs that about 4.2 million US drivers get behind the wheel drunk each month. This means that 2 percent (2%) of American adults practiced drunk driving at least once this past July.
The study came to its conclusions by looking at a paper released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2012. It also informs that the typical drunk driver is young, male, has a history of binge drinking, and doesn’t always wear his seat belt.
Health experts describe binge drinkers as men who drink at least five (5) alcoholic beverages on one occasion or in one sitting, and women who drink at least 4 (four) alcoholic beverages on one occasion or in one sitting.
The study results showed that men in the 21 to 34 age group took part in a third of all incidents related to drunk driving. And men in general took part in 80 percent (80%) of all incidents related to drunk driving.
The issue is not one to be overlooked as this type of behavior often results in death. The CDC researchers stress that “alcohol-impaired driving crashes have accounted for about one third of all US crash fatalities in the past two decades”.
Dr. Scott Krakower, alcohol abuse expert and psychiatrist from Zucker Hillside Hospital, agrees with the CDC’s statement. He offered a statement of his own informing that binge drinking is often practiced by young adults and college-age kids.
He firmly believes that if an individual is drinking, they should not consider driving a motor vehicle under any circumstances. Such a decision would endanger not only their own life, but many the lives of many innocent people as well.
He also advises people who notice that they may have a drinking problem to ask for help without any kind of fear or shame.
Dr. Krakower revealed that binge drinking is the main factor that leads to “alcohol-impaired driving”. When he talked to college students, he found that 39 percent (39%) of them went on a drinking binge in the month before the study.
The CDC researchers said that only 4 percent (4%) of US adults fit the “binge drinking” category. But although this may sound like a small percentage, they’re collectively responsible for about two thirds of the incidents related to drunk driving.
Amy Jewett, study leader and CDC investigator, was the one who asked her team to take a better look at the survey from 2012. Once they analyzed the data, they noticed that 4.2 million Americans admitted to having “at least one alcohol-impaired driving episode in the preceding 30 days, resulting in an estimated 121 million episodes [per year]”.
It’s important to note that drunk driving rates changed enormously from one state to the other, and local drunk-driving laws often had a great impact of what they looked like. The Midwest turned out to the most dangerous place. The researchers were not surprised as people living there have always reported higher rates of alcohol-impaired driving.
What’s more, the subjects who said that they don’t always wear a seat belt were thrice as likely to get in the driver’s seat drunk.
The study was published earlier this month, on Auguts 7, 2015, in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
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