Americans certainly use their cars quite often. Some statistics show that people in the United States take trips in their vehicles 233 billion times per year. While some of the people who are driving are under the influence of alcohol, the same stats show that there is only one drunk driver for each 2,000 trips.
However, when you look at traffic deaths, a clearer picture can be seen. A full third of traffic fatalities can be traced to drunk driving. So, while most people are driving sober, the same amount of people who are not doing so are causing one out of every three fatalities. That's a staggering ratio.
If you'd rather look at things from the perspective of time, a person dies in a drunk driving accident about once an hour -- every 53 minutes. This is, of course, simply an average, but it is taken from the total amount of deaths that were reported in 2011. In that year, 9,878 people died in DUI crashes.
The injury statistics are even more dire. People are hurt in DUI accidents, but survive those accidents, every two minutes.
A large percentage of the people who cause these accidents have been convicted of driving under the influence before. Studies have shown that a third of them are repeat offenders. Of those who lose their licenses, about 50 percent of them, and perhaps all the way up to 75 percent of them, drive without a license.
Those who have been hurt by a drunk driver in Chicago, or those who have lost loved ones to these accidents, should look into their right to compensation.
Source: MADD, "About Drunk Driving" Nov. 20, 2014