More than one-fourth of fatally injured bicyclists ages 16 and older had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least .08 percent, according to a new report. The legal limit is below .08 in all states.
The report, released by the Governors Highway Safety Association, found bicycle deaths rose 16 percent between 2010 and 2012, while the number of drivers killed increased 1 percent, CBS News reports.
“The percentage of fatally injured bicyclists with high BACs has remained relatively constant since the early 1980s and did not mirror the sharp drop in alcohol-impaired driving that occurred among passenger vehicle drivers in the 1980s and early 1990s,” the report’s author, Dr. Allan Williams, said in a news release.
In 2013, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended states lower allowable blood-alcohol levels for drivers, from 0.08 percent to 0.05 percent. The NTSB said thousands of people are killed or injured each year by drivers who are not legally drunk, but who are still impaired. Currently about 10,000 people die in alcohol-related car crashes each year.
A person with a blood-alcohol level of 0.05 percent is 38 percent more likely to be involved in a crash, compared with someone who has not been drinking, according to the NTSB. A person with a 0.08 blood-alcohol level is 169 percent more likely to be involved in an accident.