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Why is drunk driving such a problem?

Drivers seemingly have more options available to them than ever. For example, if they cannot drive home, they can use a ride-sharing app, call a taxi or ask a friend to take them home. The popularity of ride-sharing apps in particular may have taken some drunk drivers off the roads, but plenty remain. They injure and kill others every day.

So there is the question: Why is drunk driving such a problem when there are easy solutions seemingly at hand? Here are a few theories.

False sense of safety and a need for independence

The issue perhaps boils down to the fact that these drivers do not recognize the severity of the problem. They feel a false sense of security for themselves and for others on the road. For example, maybe they tell themselves they are sober enough to drive or that they drive adequately when intoxicated. Or maybe they say, “I am only 10 minutes from home,” or “There is no traffic on the road now.” It is tempting to drive home if they think they can get there rather than rely on someone else.


Teens and senior citizens are two age groups at high at risk of drunk driving. With teens, it can be an issue because of inexperience, peer pressure and a partying culture. On the other hand, senior citizens’ bodies are changing. They process alcohol less efficiently and might be taking alcohol that mixes with medications. Both age groups may not have the money or knowledge to use ride-sharing apps.


Women, too, are increasingly at risk of drunk driving. This is partly because more women than before are drinking, and due to their weight and other factors, they tend get drunk faster and for longer than men who drink the same amount of alcohol in the same time. Also, they may feel like others will judge them or shame them if they are drunk, so they try to drive home rather than find an alternative transportation method.


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