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The social issue I picked to write on is drunk driving, which in today’s society has become a huge issue. Back when I started driving, drunk driving was not looked upon the same as it does today. People who were involved in an alcohol related crash or accident were usually not punished like they are today. Along with that driving under the influence carried a well less penalty then it does today. Driving under the influence of alcohol is one of the most dangerous things you can do. There is a mass of information out there on how alcohol affects your body pertaining to driving. Excessive drinking has become a bigger problem in today’s world not only with college kids but with older people to. For example according to Tara Parker Pope (2012) “New research shows that four times a month, one in six Americans goes on a drinking binge, knocking back an average of eight alcoholic beverages within a few hours.”
Society’s views on drunk driving have changed a lot due to awareness of it and the effects it has on people and families. It affects society in a huge way with the fact that a lot of people die every year from being hit or hitting someone else in a drunk driving accident. Every year thousands of people are involved in an alcohol related accident, which effects many people from their family and friends to the people they got in an accident with. Drunk driving as a whole effects the whole society, at some point in your life you will of known someone who either was seriously hurt in an accident involving alcohol or you yourself are going to be involved in one. According to David J. Hanson, Ph.D. (2011) “In 2002, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that 35 percent of all traffic deaths occurred in crashes in which at least one driver or non-occupant had a BAC of 0.08 percent or more and that any alcohol was present in 41 percent of all fatal crashes in 2002” Which shows that it has a huge effect on society in a whole.
There is not a single social category that is affected by drunk driving more than the next because social drinking for the most part is socially accepted. We don’t look at one type of person as being the only ones out there drinking and driving. A social category that is affected is age, younger people between the age of 21-24 are more likely than any other age group to be involved in a alcohol related accident. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention “At all levels of blood alcohol concentration (BAC), the risk of being involved in a crash is greater for young people than for older people. Among drivers with BAC levels of 0.08 % or higher involved in fatal crashes in 2009, more than one out of every 3 were between 21 and 24 years of age (35%). The next two largest groups were ages 25 to 34 (32%) and 35 to 44 (26%).” This goes along with the fact that college people which usually make up the younger people and are more likely to be involved in an alcohol related accident.
Some of the most obvious ways to try to improve drunken driving are already in effect. It has been proven that license suspension is one of the best ways to try and curb the problem of drinking and driving, being in today’s society almost everyone operates a motor vehicle or needs one to get to where they need to be throughout the day. Another big way to improve it would be your social setting. Being taught by your parents/ adult figures in your life that drinking and driving is not a socially accepted thing, just like we are taught from the beginning what is right and wrong. The effects of drinking and driving should be taught from a very young age in school or by your parents. Another good tool would be a class you have to take yearly which would break down statistics for the past couple years on alcohol related deaths and injuries. Some of the other ways to try and improve it are mandatory jail time, or impounding of vehicle.
Society has changed over the years in regard to drinking and driving in a few regards. First there are many more vehicles on the roads today than in the past. There are every kind of bar out there for people to enjoy and drinking has become more socially acceptable. This in the long run means there are more people out there drinking and driving and getting into accidents. Drinking and driving are completely preventable accidents which can 100% be prevented. We as a society see drinking as more acceptable because of the ads we see everywhere from on T.V to at the store to billboards to magazines and papers. But we have also come down harder on people who are involved in motor vehicle accidents involving alcohol because of the number of accidents that happen every year. We see it as a major problem in society that could easily be prevented. Even our military which use to be one of the most drinking friendly of professions has turned into almost a no drinking zone. They have a no tolerance policy for drinking related offences now. Meaning one offence is enough to get removed from the military. Drinking and driving accidents in today’s world are on the decrease every year but still remain a huge problem in today’s society.
It’s great to see problems like these on the decrease. Drinking and driving is very dangerous. Many people have had their lives shattered and ruined because of a drunk driver. That is why this is becoming so socially unacceptable in today’s standards. People are finally starting to realize how dangerous it can be.
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