According to statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, someone is killed in an accident involving an impaired driver every 51 minutes on average. These accidents have an economic impact of $59 billion per year in the United States. Overall, 31 percent of all traffic-related fatalities occurred in accidents involving impaired drivers in 2012. Of the 1,168 traffic deaths involving children under the age of 14 in 2012, 20 percent of those deaths were caused by drunk drivers.
More than half of the children who were killed in an accident involving a drunk driver during that year were in the car with the driver who was impaired. Among drivers who were killed in a car accident, 18 percent of them were found to have drugs such as marijuana and cocaine in their systems. In some cases, these drugs are used in combination with alcohol.
Younger drivers as well as those who ride motorcycles are the two groups at the highest risk of getting into a fatal accident. Those who were over the age of 40 and had a BAC of .08 percent at the time of an accident constituted half of all alcohol-related motorcycle traffic fatalities. Among drivers of cars or other vehicles, younger people were more likely to get into a crash regardless of what their BAC was.
Passengers, other drivers or pedestrians who are involved in drunk driving accidents may wish to consult a personal injury attorney. This is because those who have been injured by a drunk driver may be eligible for compensation. Injury victims may be able to win compensation for their medical bills and other future medical costs related to the injury.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Impaired Driving: Get the Facts", Jan. 13, 2015