Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death in the United States for every age 4 through 34 years old and ranked third in years of potential life lost for all ages combined. In 2005, more than 43,000 people were killed and nearly 2.7 million people were injured in crashes. Traffic crashes result in costs to society of more than $230 billion each year.
There were nearly two deaths every hour in alcohol-related traffic crashes in the United States in 2005. About 85 percent of drinking drivers in alcohol-related fatal crashes had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in excess of .08 grams per deciliter (g/dL). NHTSA’s goal for 2007 is to reduce the fatality rate in crashes where BAC levels were .08+ g/dl to 0.49 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled.