One-Third of Driving Deaths Linked to Alcohol, Government Reports

An estimated 31 percent of driving deaths were linked to alcohol in 2010, compared with nine percent of deaths caused by distracted driving, according to a new government report.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s report found that overall, highway deaths fell last year to the lowest level in six decades, even though Americans are driving more, The Wall Street Journal reports.

A total of 32,885 people died in vehicle crashes in the United States last year. Of those deaths, 10,228 were related to alcohol. Deaths linked to alcohol fell 4.9 percent from 2009 to 2010, the report noted.

The number of alcohol-impaired drivers in deadly crashes decreased for most vehicle types. The largest decline was seen among drivers of pickup trucks.

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    George in Westwood

    December 9, 2011 at 6:31 PM

    This is good news of course but I respectfully question the 10,228. When my 31 year old son was killed on his bicycle by a teenaged drunk driver in 1992 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said there had been 17,859 “alcohol related” traffic fatalities that year. (I think this supposedly implied ANY alcohol, either measured or necessarily based on circumstances in many cases.) In the next few years that total dipped to the low 16,000 range and then edged back up. Sometime since then I think the goal line was moved to start at a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or more. (I firmly believe that a driver can be impaired, some more than others, with a BAC well below 0.08.) Once again, the 10,288 looks good but I don’t think it tells the whole story.

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