While most Maryland drivers know that impaired drivers may cause serious car accidents, they may not know the estimated number of people who are impacted. In fact, it is estimated that drunk drivers cause 30 deaths throughout the nation every day and more than $59 billion in damages every year.
There are certain people who are more at risk for causing drunk driving accidents. The first at-risk group is younger people. For example, out of drivers who caused a fatal crash and had a blood alcohol content of more than .08 percent, 32 percent were between 21 and 24 years of age. About 27 percent of these drivers were between the ages of 25 to 34, while another 24 percent were between the age of 35 and 44. Of motorcyclists who caused fatal accidents with a BAC of more than .08 percent, 44 percent were between the ages of 40 and 44. Finally, those who had a previous DWI charge were more likely to become involved in a fatal crash than drivers who did not.
In total, drunk drivers caused the deaths of 10,322 people in 2012, which accounted for approximately 31 percent of all traffic fatalities for that year. Of the 239 children who died in alcohol-related crashes, approximately 124 were occupants of the vehicle that was being driven by the drunk driver.
Motor vehicle accidents that are caused by impaired drivers can result in serious injuries to the drunk driver’s passengers or the occupants of other vehicles. In most cases, the injured person may seek compensation from the alleged drunk driver’s insurance company. However, there are instances where an insurance company may deny the claim or offer a settlement that does not cover the damages that the injured person sustained. An attorney may help negotiate a settlement out of court that properly covers the damages.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Impaired Driving: Get the Facts“, December 17, 2014