Study finds increasing number of women driving drunk

When a motorist gets behind the wheel after consuming alcohol, he or she not only runs the risk of being arrested for driving under the influence, but also of causing a serious motor vehicle accident. According to a recent study, the number of women who are driving while under the influence of alcohol has been increasing in recent decades.

The data, which was released by the Bureau of Justice, revealed that just 9 percent of Americans who were arrested for driving under the influence in 1980 were women. Currently, approximately 25 percent of all drunk driving arrestees are women.

In response to these statistics, the Traffic Injury Research Foundation conducted a study to determine the potential causes for the sharp uptick in women arrested for DUI. The researchers gathered data from approximately 200 women who had been convicted of driving under the influence across the country. A large percentage of the women interviewed indicated they had recently been through a stressful event in their lives - like the end of a relationship or a death in the family. In addition, approximately 75 percent of the women took prescription medications to deal with mental health issues - such as depression or anxiety.

Despite the large increase in women DUI offenders, males continue to be more likely to drive while intoxicated and cause serious auto accidents. In 2011, of all the male motorists who were killed in car crashes, 40 percent were drunk at the time - only 20 percent of female motorists who were killed were intoxicated, in comparison.

Drunk driving accidents a serious concern for New Jersey motorists

Despite significant public awareness efforts, drunk driving accidents continue to be a serious concern in New Jersey and across the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 10,225 people died in drunk driving accidents in the United States in 2010. In total, drunk driving collisions led to over 30 percent of all traffic fatalities in the U.S. that year.

In New Jersey, the statistics are similar. In 2012, Mothers Against Drunk Driving reported that there were 193 fatalities in New Jersey caused by a drunk driving accident. In total, those deaths accounted for just over 30 percent of all traffic fatalities in the state that year.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by a drunk driver, or if you have lost a loved one in such a collision, you ought to be aware of your rights. Consult with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney to ensure your rights are protected.