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Drunk driving statistics and prevention

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has determined that out of every 140 miles driven, a drunk driver is behind the wheel for one mile. While 1.4 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in 2010, that number only makes up one percent of the drives taken while inebriated each year, according to self-reporting studies.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s factsheet on impaired driving notes that younger individuals are more prone to accidents while driving under the influence than are their older counterparts at the same blood alcohol content. A third of drunk drivers involved in deadly car crashes in 2012 were between the ages of 21 and 24, and more than a quarter were between 25 and 34. Curiously, while accidents under the influence tend overall to skew toward younger drivers, nearly half the drunk motorcyclists who die annually in accidents are over the age of 40.

The best way to avoid driving drunk is to create a situation where there is no need to engage in such behavior. Designating a sober driver when going out to drink in a group if often a safe option. If that proves difficult to work out, taking a taxi or ride-sharing service is equally effective at reducing the risk of accident.

The costs per injured survivor in a drunk-driving accident average at nearly $50,000 in medical costs and $50,000 in reduced quality of life. Anyone who has been accident victim in a drunk-driving crash may want to consider speaking with a personal injury lawyer to discuss the best course of action. A lawyer may advise during a lawsuit seeking damages sustained in a crash, allowing the injured party to recover the costs incurred from the result of a drunken driver’s actions.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Impaired Driving: Get the Facts“, December 13, 2014

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