When you consider the progress that our nation has made in curbing the number of drunk driving accidents during the past half century, there are a lot of things that we can be proud of. The rate of alcohol impaired driving fatalities in the United States has dropped 65% since 1982, when record keeping began, and a variety of safety agencies currently sponsor national prevention and awareness campaigns in an effort to continue this decline. Still, even though we are on the right track, we aren’t done yet.
In 2014, drunk driving remains one of the most common causes of death and injury on our roads, and the worst part is, every one of these accidents are completely preventable. To put the problem into perspective, nearly thirty people die in car accidents involving an alcohol-impaired driver every day in the United States, and the number of people who suffer serious injuries as a result of these accidents is far greater. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the death toll that is associated with this single factor represents roughly 1/3rd of all the 32,367 individuals who died in traffic accidents last year. (The Century Council)
For safety agencies, legislators, and law enforcement officials, perhaps the most frustrating aspect of drunk driving accidents is how easily they could be prevented if enough people simply chose to drink responsibly and plan ahead. If you decide to grab a few drinks after work with some colleagues, or are invited to a get together where alcohol is being served, communicate with the members of your group well in advance and determine how you are getting home safely before you ever take a drink. If you arrived alone and feel that you have drank too much to drive safely, you can always ask a bartender, or the host of the party to call you a cab, or allow you to spend the night and drive home in the morning.
The importance of taking quick and simple steps like these to prevent drunk driving cannot be overemphasized. With more than 20 years of experience handling wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits, our attorneys have witnessed first hand how devastating the choice to get behind the wheel after drinking can be. Some of our clients have lost loved ones due to the negligence of a drunk driver, and others have suffered injuries that are so severe, they will permanently alter the way they must live their lives. By choosing not to drink and drive, you are not just protecting yourself, you are making a decision that helps keep everyone else on the road safe as well.