This post on Time.com got me thinking about the legal drinking age and driving drunk. According to the article 32% of all driver fatalities are due to drunk driving. 32%! Evidently this is down from 1984 when 45% were due to drunk driving. These are staggering numbers. But what do they mean?
I could only find readily available data back to 1994 but we can still take a look at it (source). In 2006 38,588 people were killed in accidents. 17,602 people were killed in alcohol related car crashes. In 1994 17,308 were killed in alcohol related car crashes out of 36,254 total fatalities.
How does this stack up with other ways to die? There have been 4092 U.S. deaths in Iraq so far and there were 822 in 2006. In 2006 gang related killings totaled 983 according to the FBI . Roughly 1 million people die of heart related incidents each year in America. 392 people died in 2006 from an unknown robber.
This means your chances of dying in a drunk driving accident are far higher than your chances of being killed in a random home invasion. 44 time higher! Yet we waste a lot of money on burgler alarms and still have no requirement for a device that keeps you from driving drunk.