Most people enjoy alcohol responsibly and take every necessary step to avoid becoming a danger to themselves or others while under the influence. Having a designated driver or calling a cab are both easy enough to arrange. Sadly, there are some people who fully understand how dangerous impaired driving is and still choose to get behind the wheel after drinking.
Identifying risk factors is one way for other drivers to try to avoid crashes caused by dangerous drunk drivers. Beyond simply watching for erratic driving, you might want to try to identify those more at risk of impaired driving. Are any groups of people more likely than others to get behind the wheel after having a few drinks?
Age plays a role in someone’s risk for causing a crash
Experience has a lot to do with safe driving and safe drinking. Drivers in their 20s only have a few years of practice on the road. When you add alcohol to their already low level of driving experience, there’s a lot of danger.
In 2018, the most recent year with data analyzed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) drivers between the ages of 21 and 24 were responsible for the biggest portion of drunk driving crashes. They represented 27% of all alcohol-related crashes, while drivers between the ages of 25 and 34 caused another 26% of these crashes.
Gender also influences someone’s drunk driving likelihood
Medically speaking, alcohol hits women harder than men in most cases. Men can generally metabolize the same drink as a woman a little bit faster. You might think that the discrepancy in metabolism means that women are more likely to cause drunk driving crashes, but you’d be wrong.
The opposite is actually true. According to the NHTSA, there are four crashes caused by a drunk man for every one alcohol-related crash caused by a woman.
What happens when someone in their 20s causes a car crash?
Obviously, you can’t just avoid any drivers in their 20s or early 30s, nor can you avoid all younger men at the wheel. Instead, you should try to stay aware of others around you and drive defensively.
A youthful drunk driver could potentially hurt their own passengers or people in another vehicle. Unfortunately, younger adults, especially those still enrolled in school, probably don’t have many personal assets yet. They might also carry minimal insurance on their vehicle.
Those who need compensation after a crash caused by a young drunk driver may need to explore multiple options, including insurance claims and possibly a civil lawsuit.