Did you know that 29 people in the United States die every day from auto accidents involving drunk drivers? It’s a statistic that sadly affects millions of people and their loved ones every year. Despite rigorous public education warning against the dangers of driving while under the influence of alcohol, it’s still far too common of an occurrence.
The percentage of car accidents caused by drunk driving often shocks people who don’t realize how much a problem it is today. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 28% of all traffic-related deaths are the result of driving under the influence.
Common Accidents Caused by Drunk Driving
Even when drivers consume small amounts of alcohol, they’re significantly increasing their risk of an accident. Common types of accidents caused by drunk driving include:
- Head-on collisions
- Pedestrian accidents
- Driving the wrong way and colliding with oncoming traffic
- Rear-end collisions
- Running others off the road
- Collisions with parked cars or other objects
- Unsafe passing accidents
- Failure to yield accidents
Intoxicated drivers put everyone on the road at risk. The most tragic aspect of all of this is that 100% of alcohol-impaired driving accidents are completely preventable. These senseless accidents change the lives of everyone involved, not just the driver who drove drunk.
When an innocent person is injured or killed in a drunk driving accident, it can affect them for the rest of their life. Not only may they undergo a horrific injury that requires years of treatment, but they can suffer from other conditions that make it hard to go on with their lives. Anxiety, PTSD, mental anguish, insomnia, and more.
How does alcohol impair a driver’s abilities?
Even if a driver was not legally drunk, the consumption of any amount of alcohol contributes to the percentage of car accidents caused by alcohol-impaired driving. While the legal limit is 0.08% or less blood-alcohol content (BAC), a driver’s abilities could become impaired at a much lower percentage.
Studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have proven that BACs as low as 0.02% can weaken a driver’s abilities and cause a crash. The effects of alcohol on driving abilities include:
- Delayed reaction time
- Impaired perception (weakened ability to judge distances)
- The decline in visual functions such as the ability to track moving objects
- Reduction of hand-eye coordination
- Poor concentration
- Limiting comprehension abilities
- Limiting the ability to concentrate
- Becoming overly relaxed
- Mood alterations leading to aggressive or reckless driving
In addition to all of these side effects, alcohol can severely diminish a driver’s ability to think clearly, make good decisions, and drive with caution. This loss of proper judgment leads to drivers losing the abilities needed to keep themselves and others on the road safe.
Who is most at risk for alcohol-impaired driving?
Drunk driving accidents can affect anyone regardless of age or gender. However, studies have shown that men are more likely than women to be involved in alcohol-related car accidents than women.
While drunk driving occurs across all ages, the rate is highest for those aged 26 to 29. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, this age demographic accounts for over 20% of all drunk driving.
Alcohol-impaired driving is a destructive force that disrupts lives on a daily basis. The risks of driving under the influence are not to be underestimated.
Have you or a loved one been injured in a drunk driving accident?
The percentage of car accidents caused by drunk driving remains too high in the United States. It’s estimated that one person dies every 50 minutes from a alcohol-impaired driving crash. If you or a loved one were injured in a car accident, you may be able to seek compensation for your damages.
Contact the skilled Chicago, IL personal injury lawyers at Langdon & Emison to schedule your risk-free case consultation. Our drunk driving accident lawyers can evaluate your situation and walk you through all of your legal options so call us today at (312) 855-0700.