Driving under the influence is notoriously dangerous, both for the driver themself and anyone else unlucky enough to share the road with them. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), one in three people is likely to be involved in a drunk driving collision on the road, with drunk driving accidents accounting for 28% of roadway fatalities. This is a significant percentage considering the many other causes attributed to roadway fatalities.
One of the problems with DUI accidents is that they can be more severe than others; rather than a slight error in judgment any driver could make, drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs tend to make huge leaps in errors of judgment, often resulting in bigger accidents than otherwise would occur. Additionally, the judgment for how to handle a situation in a way that mitigates risk for everyone involved is also not present. If you or a loved one were injured in an accident with a drunk driver, reach out to a car accident attorney to discuss your options for physical and financial recovery.
The following is a collection of DUI accident statistics to shed some light on the severity and uniqueness of the problem:
- According to the NHTSA, nearly 30 people die each day from a drunk driving accident, just in the United States; this equates to one death an hour.
- Drunk driving crashes kill more than 10,000 people every year, according to the NHTSA.
- Also according to the NHTSA, damages and fatalities from drunk driving accidents contribute to $44 billion in damages each year.
- Under U.S. law, it is illegal to operate a vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Concentration or BAC of .08 grams of alcohol per deciliter of blood. In general, this means a person can have two drinks before reaching the legal limit for driving; however, the two-drink rule can vary based on weight, gender, and type of beverage.
- According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 17% of child traffic deaths from the ages of 0-14 involved an alcohol-impaired driver.
- According to the CDC, both legal and illegal drugs are involved in approximately 16% of vehicle crashes.
- Motorcyclists between the ages of 35-39 experienced the highest rate of fatalities with BACs of .08% or more, according to the CDC.
- Drivers involved in fatal crashes who were over the legal limit of BAC are 4.5 times more likely to have a prior conviction for DUI than drivers with no alcohol in their system; this information presented by the CDC points to an alarming tendency toward habit for those who drive under the influence.
If you were hit by a drunk driver or suspect a driver involved in your accident was under the influence, take the following steps:
- Call for emergency medical assistance and move to a safe location.
- Report the accident to law enforcement.
- Avoid giving any statements.
- Ask for the contact information of any witnesses to the accident.
- Collect pictures and videos at the scene of the accident if possible.
- Write down what you remember from the accident as soon as possible.
- Remain at the scene until police dismiss you or you are taken to the hospital.
- Contact a car accident attorney for a free consultation to discuss your case.
To learn more about the effects of DUI or for help filing a claim after an accident, reach out to a car accident attorney as soon as possible.