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October 06, 2021

Economic slowdown leading to fewer drunk drivers: report

I don’t recall the economy, back when it was strong even, having this kind of reach.

Stock-photo-1003155-drinking-driving For instance, as the world’s financial system plodded along in health pre-2008, we never heard stories of how great it was to own a home or how nice it was to make your car payments on time.

But ever since the economy tanked, it’s been remarkable how the recession’s tentacles have been able to wrap around everyone and everything, even two years since the downturn officially ceased.

To wit: according to a new report out of the U.S., the slowed-down economy may just be keeping more drunk drivers off the road.

By new numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drunk driving in the States is at its lowest rate since 1993, and experts are crediting the economic slowdown.

*Bing: How much will a DUI cost in insurance and penalties?

Based on a national telephone survey of 451,000 people, not only has the level of alcohol-impaired driving dropped to its lowest mark since 1993, it’s also plunged a whopping 30 per cent since its peak in 2006.

“One possibility is that people are drinking at home more and therefore driving less after drinking,” Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the CDC’s director, reasoned this week.

Perhaps. Certainly, it makes sense that people, strapped for cash, are opting to drink on the cheap at home – or, to further the point, simply drinking less on the whole.

But it’s also basic economics that there are simply less drivers on the road now than there were in 2006.

In the U.K., at least, the number of cars on the road last year declined for the first time since World War II. Fewer drivers, less disposable cash for booze = fewer drunk drivers swerving about.

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...