Many people have lost loved ones as a result of drunk driving. Alcohol related motor vehicle accidents are one of the main causes of death, especially with teenagers. After drinking alcohol, a person’s perception and judgement become distorted and they may feel overconfident and take chances they’d never take if sober. Alcohol affects the body by impairing vision, slowing down reaction time, and making the body feel more relaxed and drowsy. People think that they can be careful when they drive drunk and that they’ll make it home safely, however, consuming alcohol makes the task almost impossible. Although drunk driving is more common in the youth, drinking is dangerous for everyone, particularly if they aren’t completely educated on the risks.
During the dark hours, my grandfather was walking the streets in El Monte, California. It never crossed his mind that during that night his life would flash before his eyes. He was at a crosswalk where he pressed the button to cross the street. Once the cross light switched for him to cross, he did. He took his first step off the sidewalk and began walking. My grandfather did not realize what was to come once he stepped off the sidewalk. A car approached going over the speed limit. The person in the car was under the influence and ran a red light. It was then that my grandfather was hit by a drunk driver. My grandfather passed away at the sight of the scene. The young adult that hit him was taken into custody and put on trial for my grandfather’s death. If it wasn’t for the drunk driver who ran the red light that night my grandfather would still be alive today. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Today there are
“Every year, in the United States about 600,000 and ten percent-of all motor vehicle crashes recorded by police department are all due to consumption of alcohol.” In 2003; 42,643 fatalities were caused by vehicle crashes. Of those, 17,013 (40 percent) were alcohol related. The majority people with DUI’s are not alcoholics. “Beer drinking causes about 80 percent of alcohol-related fatalities.” A crash is alcohol related if any driver, pedestrian or passenger involved has any trace of alcohol or there is suspicion of alcohol usage. As the cases of drunk driving quickly increase over a period of time as one of the fast developing public problem, more definite and stricter regulations should be emphasized on books and in the academic world to control such recurring drunk driving offenses.
We cannot forget that cars are dangerous. It only takes one slight swerve to severely hurt or kill someone. Don’t forget that there are approximately two deaths every thirty-three minutes. Think about that, roughly fourteen individual’s lives are taken every day. I urge you to help enforce stricter penalties for drunk driving. When society realizes the severity of drunk driving, more individuals will make an effort to increase the consequences of driving under the influence. The lives we save could be your friend or family.
The growing awareness of alcohol hazards has made people more cautious of their drinking habits, particularly young adults. At present young adults have the highest prevalence of alcohol consumption than any other age group. They also drink more heavily, experience more negative consequences, and engage in more harmful activities, specifically drunk driving. Although surveys have documented a decline in recent years, consumption rates remain highest from late teen years to the late twenties (Johnston1-3). Despite the long-term decline since 1982 in alcohol related traffic deaths, a 4 percent increase occurred between 1994 and 1995 among young adults age 21 and over (Hingson 4). As alcohol-impaired driving persists, legal and community initiatives intervene to help reduce the problem, as well as, continuing research on possible solutions.
The Troubles with Drinking and Driving
There is knocking at a door late at night, and there a policeman standing at the door with information that a family member was in an accident that involved a drunk driver. This is one of those things people hear and believe that it will not happen, but it happens every day. Every 40 minutes, someone in the U.S. is killed by a drunk driver and in 2008, in Montana, 40 percent of all traffic fatalities involved DUIs (“Drunk Driving” 1). Drunk Driving affects everyone and people in Montana should look at what other states do to find ways to make the laws tougher and more enforced.
In other states, laws for drunk driving do help their roads to be safer.
Alcohol is causing too many deaths. Each year, excessive drinking is responsible for the deaths of 80,000 people in the United States, 4,700 of which are young Americans (6). Alcohol by itself is dangerous; this danger is (made greater) when individuals consuming it are allowed to drive a vehicle. Research has shown that a pedestrian struck by a vehicle moving at 40 miles an hour has a fifty percent chance of getting killed as a result of the impact (9). A distracted or impaired driver will not be able to react as fast as a non-impaired driver, meaning a drunk driver is a more dangerous driver than a sober one.
Drunk driving is an issue that effects many people across our nation. People do not realize the affects alcohol can have on the body and mind that slow decision making while driving. This issue begins in the home. Children see their parents, or other adults figures, have a beer or a cocktail and get in the car. Thus, making it seem like it is acceptable to drink and drive. “One in three people will be involved in an alcohol-related crash in their lifetime” (MADD).
Chang, K., Wu, C., & Ying, Y. (2012). The effectiveness of alcohol control policies on alcohol-related traffic fatalities in the United States. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 45, 406-415. doi:10.1016/j.aap.2011.08.008
A lot of drivers that have alcohol in their blood don’t appear this way. Statistics have shown that even the tiniest amount of alcohol can influence the way you drive. As more people understand the many behaviors that can become aggressive and see their own behavior, they can become adapted to safer driving practices and manage risk more effectively. Many people believe that drinking and driving or texting and driving is okay if nobody gets hurt, well they’re wrong. Almost every time an accident happens that involves alcohol or dangerously using the phone, somebody gets hurt, and I am wanting to prove my statement.