The statistics on fatal drunk driving accidents are staggering: about every 48 minutes, someone in the U.S. dies in a traffic accident involving an alcohol-impaired driver. A new study only adds to the shock factor, finding that younger women are more likely to die in fatal DUI accidents than they were in the past.
By comparing men and women with similar blood alcohol content, or BAC, percentages, researchers conducting the study found that between 1996 and 2007, women’s risk of fatal car accidents grew. In 1996, men were approximately twice as likely to be involved in fatal crashes, but by 2007, women had closed the gender gap, according to MSN Health.
Gender and Fatal Car Accidents
Young women between the ages of 16 and 20 are especially at risk of car accidents, according to the study, published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. Drivers in that age group with a BAC of 0.02 percent, the legal limit for drivers under 21 years old, to 0.049 percent are three times more likely to get in fatal crashes than their sober-driving counterparts.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, higher BAC percentages have many dangerous effects including that of decreasing drivers’ coordination, thinking, reaction time and control. Even drivers with a BAC as low as 0.02 percent increase their risk of an accident, since they can experience the following:
- Decline in visual functions
- Decline in ability to perform multiple tasks simultaneously
- Altered mood
- Impaired judgment
Distracted Driving Accidents
Young drivers are also engaging in distracted driving more often, another factor that contributes to high fatal accident rates. According to the study, distracted driving is a likely factor in the doubling of the fatality rate among sober male drivers between 1996 and 2007.
After any car accident resulting in injury or death, first seek medical attention and then contact an experienced and aggressive personal injury attorney who will diligently investigate the accident and pursue any potential legal claims on your behalf.