Guest Writer: Kara Stevens. Senior Web Content Editor, AAC
April is Alcohol Awareness Month and a time to stop and think about the impact alcohol has on daily life. It’s no surprise people started drinking more over the past two years during the pandemic, but now we are starting to see the damage: a dramatic rise in alcohol-related car accidents. Whether it’s commuting to work, taking the kids to school, or visiting friends, habits harnessed at home are now becoming a part of regular, daily routines that often revolve around driving.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) an estimated 38,680 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2020, the largest projected increase since 2007. The data reflects a 7% rise in overall traffic deaths in 2020 compared to 2019 and shows significant increases during the last half of 2020 compared to those same months in 2019.
Another interesting element is people were not driving as much. Data from the Federal Highway Administration shows that miles traveled decreased nationwide. So, that means there were less cars on the road but more alcohol-related accidents.
It’s clear we are just starting to scratch the surface on consequences stemming from the pandemic.
If you are beginning to recognize a pattern of problematic substance misuse in yourself, or a loved one, be sure to reach out for help. American Addiction Centers (AAC) not only treats alcohol addiction, but co-occurring mental health disorders like anxiety and depression as well. If you are in the Nevada area and believe you need help with addiction, there are treatment options available.