Articles Posted in Alcohol-Related Accidents

bar-3047514_1920-300x193Drunk driving continues to remain the number one threat facing American motorists. Approximately one-third of all drivers who die in alcohol-related car accidents have a blood-alcohol concentration of a minimum of .08%. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, that percentage has hardly budged over a period of two decades.

In 2015 alone, close to 7,000 fatalities were directly linked to motorists driving with a blood-alcohol concentration above the permissible limit of .08%. Alcohol beverage companies have tried to promote the theory that drugs are now responsible for more crash fatalities than alcohol. These corporations quote data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System which showed that in 2015, 46% percent of all car accident fatalities that year had drugs in their system at the time of the accident.

However, it is essential to keep things in perspective. Alcohol continues to remain the most dangerous drug for motorists and is responsible for more car accident fatalities annually than any drug, including marijuana. Experts at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety also insist that linking the rise in fatal car accidents across the United States with increased self-reporting of marijuana use by American motorists, is inaccurate. The increase in fatal car accidents in the country may have more to do with the improved economy which has resulted in greater vehicle miles traveled and an increase in the number of motorists on the roads. It is a fact that when the economy is good, people tend to drive more, especially for recreational purposes. The rise in marijuana use by American motorists does not indicate that drunk driving is no longer a significant threat.

IMG_20151206_194134-300x196It’s the season of office parties, and private get-togethers. The holiday season offers plenty of opportunity to entertain. However, these opportunities also come with a great risk: Alcohol-related injuries caused by your guests.

The office Christmas party is one of the most eagerly awaited event of your company calendar year. The alcohol flows freely at these events, and as the business owner and the host of the party, it is important to be aware of the risks placed on the employees and guests at these events. Years of public service announcements and community education inform us that people who consume alcohol, in even moderate quantities at your event are at risk of becoming intoxicated. Research shows that those who drive drunk, even slightly “buzzed” are at greater risk for being in a motor vehicle accident, resulting in severe injuries to others and themselves.

Similarly, if you are throwing a private party, this knowledge of increased alcohol-related risk must be on the forefront of the host or hostess’s mind. The behavior of guests who are under the influence of alcohol served by you at your venue does not end when they leave the front door. Their safety and the safety of other travelers is jeopardized. Multiple times each year in Indiana, party guest consume too much alcohol and are involved in serious, even fatal accidents. This holiday season, as the opportunity to entertain increases, stay aware of the need for safe and responsible hosting at all times.

whisky-644372_1280-300x200With all the focus on anti-distracted driving measures these days, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that drunk driving kills more people than any other accident factor across the country, except speeding. Thankfully, the number of drunk drivers on our roads has significantly declined, but motorists in Indiana continue to be at risk from intoxicated drivers.

A look at Indiana’s drunk driving accident statistics for the past few years provides a more complete picture. According to the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention, as many as one in three traffic accident fatalities in the United States involves legally drunk driver. The term refers to a driver operating a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol concentration of a minimum of .08%.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also estimates that there were a total of 2,210 alcohol-related accident fatalities in the state of Indiana between 2003 and 2012. The vast majority of fatalities involving intoxicated drivers were persons in the age group between 21 to 24.

corks-640362_1280-300x200Forget about old school Public Service Announcements. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched a new virtual reality effort that it hopes will educate people about the dangers of drinking, when they know that they’re going to be operating a motor vehicle.

The virtual reality game is called Last Call, and allows users to experience walking into a bar, and understand how they can easily become progressively drunk throughout the evening. The reality game allows you to choose whether you want to enter a cocktail lounge or a sports bar, and then from there on, make various choices – play darts, engage in a trivia game, and so on.  As you are given choices of various drinks throughout the evening, you are allowed to understand exactly how drunk you are getting. The drinkometer allows people keep track of the alcohol that they are imbibing and over the evening, as you get progressively drunk, your vision begins to blur.

There are consequences to that drinking. You could be pulled over by a cop as you are driving home, and get arrested for drunk driving.

New Year CelebrationDecember 31st is a marker day for many Indiana residents.  It is the perfect time to reflect on the year gone by, the next twelve months, and endless possibilities.  Many people form determined lists of good intentioned resolutions to make the next year the best one yet. People vow to lose weight, save money, exercise regularly, and many more goals.

Unfortunately, many choose to end their old year and begin their new with unrestrained celebration, a long night that leads into the new day, and heavy amounts of alcohol.  This is usually a combination that results in errors in judgement, reckless decision making, and an increased risk of accidents and injuries.

The Center for Disease Control notes that in 2013 more than 10,000 people were killed in alcohol related crashes.  This is nearly 31% of all automotive fatalities. That’s 30 people every single day – one death every 51 minutes.  The impact of these impaired driving deaths is more than the sorrow and pain of the survivors and family members of those killed.  The impact on American society is also a huge financial burden, at an annual cost of more than $59 billion each year.

If a driver leaves a party under the influence of alcohol, they will find that Indiana laws are direct and to the point when it comes to drinking and driving.

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Drunk Bike and moreBicycle riding carries its own set of risks.  For those who frequently ride on Indiana streets, it is no surprise that risks like head injury, possible auto accidents, and dangerous falls are a real possibility.  But one risk that continues to astound safety experts are those that occur when bicyclists ride under the influence of alcohol.  Drunk bicycle riding is a growing concern globally and even here in Indiana.  However, a Japanese company has introduced a new breathalyzer-type device that would help reduce the risk of intoxicated bike riding.

A bicyclist who rides while drunk is at a high risk of an accident. Intoxicated riding could actually be even more dangerous than intoxicated driving because a person riding under the influence of alcohol may not realize how much of a danger this is. Accidents also arise when the drunk bicyclist fails to obey traffic signs, placing himself and other motorists at risk.

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expensive.jpgMaking alcohol expensive could probably go a long way in helping reduce the number of alcohol-related fatalities on Indiana roadways every year. According to the results of new research, when alcohol is made more expensive, there’s a significant reduction in drunk driving and consequently, a reduction in the number of drunk driving accident fatalities recorded.

The researchers based their findings on an analysis of drunk driving accident fatalities in the state of Illinois, where alcohol taxes increased significantly in 2009. The researchers found that after the alcohol taxes were increased, there was a significant decrease in the number of alcohol-related fatalities recorded in Illinois. Fatalities dropped by 26%, and the sharpest increase was seen in the case of young people.
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beer.jpgA recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety focused on the fact that alcohol-related crash fatalities have remained more or less the same over the past few years, even as the overall incidence of DUI has dropped. The Insurance Institute found a clear paradox in this, and wanted to understand the reasons for this finding.

The analysis involved a comparison of national roadside breath test surveys conducted in 48 states in 1986, 1986 and 2007. The researchers then analyzed this data, and compared it with fatal crash data from the federal administration. The analysis found that while the percentage of alcohol-impaired drivers dropped with every roadside survey, the proportion of fatalities involving blood alcohol concentration above .08% remained fairly stable at about one-third since 1994, after falling by 50% in 1982.

What seemed especially perplexing to the researchers was the fact that there was no difference in drunk driving accident fatalities over this period of time, even though there was a clear drop in the numbers of people driving under the influence of alcohol. The researchers then turned their attention to the characteristics of the persons involved in these fatal car crashes to understand the reasons for this inconsistency. They found that there were certain characteristics common among alcohol-impaired car crash fatalities.
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holiday%20alcohol.jpgThe holidays are dangerous for motorists, especially with an increased number of intoxicated drivers on the roads. A new infographic indicates that the Christmas and New Year holidays see a high numbers of traffic accident fatalities related to drunk driving.

The study focused on traffic accident fatalities during each holiday period which includes the Fourth of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Year’s holidays. The information was based on traffic accident fatalities that occurred between the 2007 and 2011 holiday periods. Each holiday period was between 3 and 4 days in duration, as defined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
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pub.jpgA new study that focused on the blood-alcohol content of designated drivers found that most designated drivers managed to remain sober. However quite a few consumed alcohol, and some of them actually had enough alcohol in their system to cause a serious alcohol-related accident, or even be arrested for DUI.

The results of the study were published recently in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. The research was conducted by University of Florida researchers, who visited bars in Gainesville, Florida over the period of one weekend. The researchers administered alcohol tests to persons leaving bars. More than 1,000 people were approached as part of the study, and most of these people were white, young and male. Approximately 168 of these people admitted that they were the designated drivers for the evening.

Out of the 168 designated drivers, 106 or 65% had no alcohol in their systems, which means that they were in perfect condition to drive safely. However, 28 persons or 17% of the drivers had blood-alcohol levels that varied from .02% to .049% in their system.
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