As Illinois residents know, drinking and driving claims many lives each year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 10,322 people died in alcohol-related crashes in 2012. Reducing accidents due to impairment may require a strategy that mixes education and enforcement of applicable laws.
The incidence of drunk driving was greatest in young drivers between 21 and 24, according to the NHTSA. Drivers with a prior history of DUI are more likely to be involved in a fatal crash while impaired. Motorcyclists aged 40 to 44 have a greater propensity for riding while impaired and account for 44 percent of all biker deaths. The number of fatal accidents involving children is often related to driving while intoxicated. Out of 1,168 children who died in car crashes in 2012, about 20 percent involved a drunk driver, and more than 50 percent were in the same vehicle as the drunk driver.
Drug impaired driving accounts for roughly 18 percent of driver fatalities. Drugs commonly involved are cocaine and marijuana. The incidence of arrests for impaired driving is low compared to the number of drivers who admit to driving drunk. While 1.4 million individuals were arrested in the most recent year for which statistics are available, more than 112 million said they drink while driving. According to authorities, reducing the number of impaired drivers requires that certain steps be taken including mandatory assessment for substance abuse and immediate loss of driving privileges. Studies show sobriety stops are another way of reducing alcohol-related crashes and community-based education against drunk driving may help reduce the number of accidents.
If a driver drinks and causes a car accident and injures another motorist or pedestrian, the victim can incur significant medical and other expenses. A personal injury attorney can assist such a victim in the pursuit of compensation for those damages.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Impaired Driving: Get the Facts“, January 03, 2015