Although summer is a favorite season for many, the larger number of people out drinking and driving during this time of year leads to more crashes this time of year. With increased alcohol consumption during the summertime, particularly following a pandemic that left many people struggling, the year ahead could see an even higher number of DUI crashes.
The Rising Number of DUI Crashes in the Summer Months
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 29 people die in a DUI accident on a daily basis. Additionally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that the number of accidents related to drunk driving doubled in the summer compared to the rest of the year.
With these stats in mind, it’s important to understand some of the reasons why drunk driving increases throughout the summer.
Reasons Behind Drunk Driving Incidents in the Summer
There are a few reasons why people are more likely to drink and drive during the summer.
More People Traveling and Drinking
One key reason is the higher rate of travel as more people seek to venture out after a pandemic that kept them in place. As a result, more people will wind up behind the wheel of a vehicle while intoxicated, as drinking and traveling are often interconnected. Supporting this is the fact that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety ranked Fourth of July as the single most dangerous driving day every year. Typically on an average day, alcohol-impaired drivers are involved in 35% of fatal accidents. However, the July Fourth holiday sees around 47% of deaths involving people who have a blood alcohol content (BAC) at or over the legal limit of 0.08%.
More Younger Drivers on the Road
Younger drivers are at an especially high risk of getting involved in drunk driving accidents and being injured in a crash because of their lack of experience behind the wheel, along with the lack of familiarity with the effects of drinking alcohol. The NHTSA reported that around 27% of drunk drivers are between the ages of 21 and 24.
The Importance of Avoiding Drinking and Driving
Individuals should never get behind the wheel of a vehicle if they have been drinking, nor should they enter a vehicle with a driver who has been drinking. Alcohol in even low quantities can impair a person’s judgment and lead to serious accidents. If a person plans to drink at any point throughout the summer or any other time of year, it’s best to plan ahead to ensure they can get to where they need to go without driving.
To avoid drinking and driving, one of the easiest precautions that people can take is to use ridesharing services such as Uber or Lyft, which are often inexpensive and allow riders to split the cost in shared rides. Additionally, party hosts can offer alcohol-free beverages for guests, and a person attending any event with a group could remain sober, serving as the designated driver.
To help reduce the rate of DUI accidents in the summer, people can do their part in keeping the roads safer this time of year and refrain from drinking and driving.