Study Says Men at Much Higher Risk for Drunk Driving

By Mike

The results of a recent study suggest that man are almost three times more likely than woman to be arrested for driving drunk, a finding that is sure to spur plenty of debate between the opposite sexes.

According to a report from KIVI-TV in Boise, Idaho, which cited evidence offered on an auto insurance website, men are about three times more likely to be arrested for a DUI, reckless driving, or driving without a seatbelt.

And, before male readers unleash their outrage at potentially misleading statistics, these numbers are backed up by insurance company practices.

In Idaho, for example, average car insurance premiums are 14 percent higher for men than they are for women. It seems that car insurance companies, which have a vested interest in doing ample research on safe driving, buy into the adage that men have a tendency to be more reckless behind the wheel.

In addition to the findings about DUIs, the study also discovered that roughly 80 percent of accidents involving cars hitting pedestrians are caused by men.

Of course, not everyone is convinced that men are more aggressive drivers. The report interviewed local body shops in Idaho, which confirmed that they see a 50-50 split in body work requests from drivers.

In addition, anecdotal evidence from following police blotters suggests that women are frequently asked to submit to blood alcohol tests, though it must be admitted that more male offenders seem to dot the DUI headlines each week.

And, while the debate may continue between men and women about their driving habits, there are certain demographic trends that help guide police efforts to reduce the overall instances of drunk driving.

For example, it has been conclusively shown that young people are more likely than older drivers to be arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Due to this reality, ant-DUI marketing campaigns led by local governments and non-governmental organizations tend to focus their messages on younger audience to maximize the potential impact of their ad campaigns.

Thanks to the success of these forms of targeted marketing, statistics showing the proliferation of male drunk drivers may ultimately lead concerned police to target their messages to specifically male audiences.

If, in the future, anti-DUI messaging is restricted solely to young males, incidences of DUI arrests may very well decline. However, while statistics help reveal the realities behind DUIs, the act of driving while drunk has proven to be very difficult to eradicate.

Each year, millions of people get behind the wheel after having too many drinks, and a painfully small percentage of these drivers are ever caught.

By targeting DUI enforcement to certain populations, such as young males, police officers may be able to put a bigger dent in the problem of drunk driving than they would if they were casting a wider enforcement net.

Yes, this could be viewed as gender or age profiling, but in a country that sees 40,000 traffic deaths each year, drastic measures could be necessary to reduce the number of fatalities on American roads.



Study Shows Large Decrease in Drunk Driving Incidents

By Mike

A recent poll conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed a remarkable decline in self-reported incidents of drunk driving.

According to an article from the Associated Press, episodes of drunk driving are at their lowest numbers since 1993, and have fallen more than 30 percent in the last five years.

Experts suggest that the decreasing frequency of drunk driving incidents may not be a result of a collective desire to drive more safely.

Instead, some observers speculate that the struggling economy has led many people to stay at home and drink for cheap, rather than paying premium prices at a bar. With more people staying away from bars, there are fewer drinkers driving home.

The CDC statistics, which were compiled by surveying more than 200,000 Americans on the phone, showed that roughly two percent of all Americans admitted to driving under the influence of alcohol in the previous month.

While the two percent seems like a low figure, it still represents about four million drunk drivers on the roads in any given month.

Of this two percent, roughly 60 percent admitted to driving drunk just once in the last month, but a healthy percentage of respondents claimed to have driven drunk multiple times in the last few weeks.

By expanding these monthly figures to an annual estimate, the CDC guessed that there were 112 million individual episodes of drunk driving in 2010.

In other words, there are roughly 300,000 people who are driving under the influence of alcohol on a typical day in the United States.

While these numbers seem discouraging, they represent a significant decrease from past numbers. Take, for example, 1993, when more than 160 million people admitted to driving drunk during that calendar year.

Of course, while overall drunk driving figures are down, some populations remain more apt to drive drunk than others.

According to the poll, men between the ages of 21 and 34 were more likely than any other demographic to drive drunk.

While men between 21 and 34 only account for 11 percent of the country’s population, they are responsible for 32 percent of all drunk driving incidents.

Of course, not every drunk driver is arrested for a DUI. In fact, only a small percentage of drunk drivers will ever be arrested for their actions.

Nevertheless, the relatively low odds of being arrested for a DUI should not prevent people from finding designated drivers, or simply taking a cab.

Drunk driving still causes tens of thousands of traffic fatalities each year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drunk driving accidents still claim an American’s life every 48 minutes.

So, while drunk driving is becoming less popular, it remains a serious concern for innocent people on American roads.