Drunk Driver Fatalities Highest After Midnight
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported in August 2010 that three out of four drunk driving accidents occur in the early morning hours between midnight and 3 a.m. The timing coincides with the typical bar closing times while partiers are on their way home.
In 2009, those three hours after midnight also proved to be the most deadly with 32% of traffic fatalities occurring during that time. Our Binghamton New York accident attorneys continue to warn drivers to be alert for unsafe drivers at all times.
We previously reported on NHTSA figures showing that the number and percentage of fatal crashes nationwide declined to the lowest level in 2009 nationwide. The percentage of fatalities decreased 9.7% from 2008.
This August 2010 NHTSA data showed that the percentage of alcohol-related fatal crashes has “changed little over the years.” The 2009 rate at 32% of all traffic fatalities involving alcohol was one percentage point higher than that of the 31% in 2008.
Between the hours of midnight and 3:00 a.m. that rate increased to nearly 67%. In the morning hours that mark the standard rush hour, fatal accidents that involved drunk drivers decreased to 15% of all crashes.
The NHTSA also reports that 55% of the drivers involved in the midnight to 3:00 a.m. fatal drunk-driving accidents had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of greater than the legal limit of .08%. Furthermore, for those under the legal drinking age, 20% of those involved in fatal car crashes had a BAC of over the legal limit.
Statistics continue to prove that young men between the ages of 21 and 24 comprise the largest age group of those dying from drunk driving. The report also revealed that motorcyclists were the most likely to be impaired (29%), and drivers of large trucks had the lowest rate of drunk drivers at 2% during all periods of the day.
Following the expected trend, the second and third highest rate of alcohol-related crashes occurs in the three hours before midnight and the three hours after 3 a.m.
Research shows that marketing campaigns targeted at drunk driving and stepped up law enforcement can reduce drunk driving. Our Binghamton, NY, accident attorneys hope that the Labor Day Holiday statistics will show a decrease in drunk driving from the statewide crackdown on drunk drivers over that period once the data is released.
NY residents should be alert for suspected drunk drivers at all times, but be especially vigilant during those early morning hours. Educating our young people against the dangers of drinking and driving can also be an important step in saving young lives.
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