A drunk driving accident is a tragic event that Mothers Against Drunk Driving calls the most frequently committed violent crime in America. It seems that every day brings another disturbing news story about the repercussions of getting behind the wheel after a few drinks.
While the news stories give us the heart-wrenching details of these avoidable tragedies, the latest statistics illustrate just how prevalent drunk driving accidents are across the country.
The following are 10 drunk driving accident facts:
- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults drank too much and got behind the wheel about 112 million times in 2010. This adds up to almost 300,000 incidents of drinking and driving each day.
- One in every 7 drivers killed in a drunk driving accident in 2008 was under the age of 21 (and thus not even old enough to drink).
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has determined that these accidents cost the United States $132 billion a year and costs each adult in this country almost $500 per year.
- According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in fatal crashes in 2010, the highest percentage of drunk drivers was for drivers ages 21 to 24 (34%), followed by ages 25 to 34 (30%) and 35 to 44 (25%).
- 211 children were killed in drunk driving crashes in 2010. Out of those deaths, 62% were riding with the drunk driver.
- An estimated 1 in 7 nighttime weekend drivers are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, according the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
- 1 in every 10 binge drinkers admitted to driving the last time they consumed 5 or more drinks, according to a 2009 study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Additionally, according to studies by the CDC, an average drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before first arrest.
- Drunk drivers caused 11,773 of the nation’s 37,261 traffic fatalities in 2008, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
- Over 70 percent of drunken driving fatalities occurred at night and 55 percent occurred during the weekend.
The statistics are clearer than ever. Fatal car accidents in the U.S. are caused by intoxicated drivers at an alarmingly high rate, and they affect everyone in one way or another. Drunk driving can impair a driver’s ability to judge speed, timing, and distance. It can lead to dangerous driving behaviors such as failure to use turn signals, drifting, and failure to notice other vehicles or pedestrians on the roadway. Thus, not only are the roads more dangerous with drunk drivers, the financial toll of an alcohol-related accident extends to the average taxpayer.
Fortunately, the individuals responsible for alcohol-related accidents often face serious criminal charges in addition to being held civilly responsible to innocent accident victims. For this reason, it is important that the victims of any drunken driving accident seek free legal advice from an experienced attorney.
The victims of automobile accidents caused by an intoxicated driver can see their lives torn apart in an instant by another person’s negligent actions. For this reason, the injury lawyers and wrongful death attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. take special care in fighting for clients who have been seriously injured or killed by the negligent acts of a drunk driver. We will work with you to seek just compensation from drunk drivers and their insurance companies.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a drunk driving accident, request a Free Case Consultation or call (312) 924-7575 to speak with a lawyer now.