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Lesson 6

Part 3



Alcohol-Related Vehicular Homicides



Every year the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration publishes statistics on traffic issues such as crash test results, driver alcohol involvement in fatal crashes, etc. The website for the NHTSA is http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/.


According to the chart on the HGTSA website published in July of 2006, the age group of 20-29 and 30-39, has the highest involvement of alcohol related fatalities for passenger cars, SUVs, pickups and vans. Motorcycle operators, however, involved the age group of 30-39 and 40-49, as the highest driver alcohol involvement in fatal crashes.


Log into the above website and you will discover that for the four years that the NHTSA has been tracking these statistics, the age groups of 20-29 and 30-39, always comes out much higher than any other age group with regard to alcohol-related driving fatalities. These age groupings are highlighted in yellow. With the exception of motorcycle related alcohol induced fatalities, the numbers are significantly higher with the young adult age group.


Below you will find some of the charts that indicate the percentage of fatalities that involve young adults. Not only are 35% to 40% of all alcohol-related vehicular fatalities involving this young adult category, but it is in every type of vehicle listed except motorcycles.



They list the blood alcohol level in these charts as .10. In the State of Pennsylvania, though, the legal limit before a person is deemed intoxicated is now .08, which means that these statistics probably become even higher for the young adult population.


On the charts from the NHTSA, they also break down the alcohol level for these fatalities by vehicle. According to the NHTSA, in 2003, SUVs and pickups were involved in the most number of fatalities.


Pickups – 25% were at .11 – 50% were at .17 – 75% were at .22

SUVs – 25% were at .11 – 50% were at .16 – 75% were at .21


According to the website, three-fourths (75%) of drivers with alcohol in fatal crashes had BAC levels of .10 or .11 which is greater than the legal limit in all States, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.


One-fourth (25%) of drivers with alcohol in fatal crashes had BAC levels of .21 which is more than twice the legal limit in all States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.


Motorcycle operators with alcohol in fatal crashes had lower BAC levels overall, but due to the danger of motorcycles, fatalities often occur after an accident because the motorcyclist is not adequately protected.


Below is the chart for the average male and female for alcohol consumption in the State of Pennsylvania. You will see the correlation between weight and amount of drinks. The results will also vary according to other conditions such as if you have eaten before alcohol consumption, the time period in which the alcohol was consumed, etc.



Male Chart

Source: Journal of Studies on Alcohol, Vol. 42, No.7, 1981.


Female Chart

Source: University of Wisconsin Center for Health Sciences, 1988, and U.S. Dept. of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1992.



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