Despite the attention became focused upon the drunk-driving death of former MTV star Ryan Dunn, the incidence of DUI deaths has actually been decreasing in the U.S.

According to data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 10,389 people died in alcohol-related vehicle crashes in the U.S.in 2009, representing about one-third (32 percent) of all traffic fatalities for that year. This also means that on average a person is killed in an alcohol-related crash about every fifty minutes.

However, in 1982 (when NHTSA started collecting such statistics), there were 21,113 drunk driving-related deaths – which means that the number of people dying like this has been cut in half in less than three decades.

By 1991, that figure has dropped to 15,827.

The falling numbers suggest that public service announcements about the dangers of drunk driving are working.

Sadly, it came too late for Ryan Dunn.