Car Insurance Co.: 1 in 10 Drivers Say They May Have Driven Drunk

Foundation for Traffic Safety

Photo Courtesy of AAA

Survey results released by AAA auto insurance’s Foundation for Traffic Safety show that 1 out of 10 respondents believe they’ve driven during the past year at a time when their blood alcohol content (bac) may have been near or over the legal limit. Further, 5.5 percent of respondents said they may have done so more than once during the same period.

The majority of respondents — nearly 70 percent — also said they’d advocate requiring drivers convicted of a drunk-driving charge to use a device that would stop them from starting their cars if they’ve been drinking.

The telephone survey was part of the Foundation’s Traffic Safety Culture Index and included responses form 2,000 Americans 16-years-old and older.

Results of the survey were released in anticipation of New Year’s, a holiday during which a higher-than-average amount of motorists may be drinking at parties and making the dangerous decision to drive home intoxicated.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 468 accident-related fatalities during the 2009 New Year’s holiday period*, with 187 of those fatalities resulting from a crash that involved a driver with a bac of .08 or greater.

“Drunk drivers put everyone on the road in danger, especially during holiday season which often combines travel with multiple opportunities to consume alcohol,” said AAA Foundation President and CEO Peter Kissinger in a press release. “Driving is both a privilege and a responsibility. Exploring new technologies, such as interlocking devices, are important to ensuring public safety in conjunction with personal responsibility and law enforcement.”

Even if a drunk driver manages to stay on the road without injuring anyone, there can be other serious consequences for him or her.

Car insurance companies recognize the huge risks associated with drinking and driving, and anyone convicted of doing so will most likely end up in the high risk auto insurance pool and see their rates skyrocket.

*The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration considers the 2009 New Year’s Holiday period to run from 6 p.m. on Dec. 31 to 5:59 a.m. on Jan. 5.

About John Pirro
John Pirro is a licensed fire and casualty insurance agent specializing in various aspects of the auto insurance industry. He worked in the auto body repair industry before taking a reporting position at Online Auto Insurance News.

No comments yet.

Comment on this article