For every year between 2006 and 2016, the number of drunk driving fatalities exceeded 10,000. Though the number has declined by a third over the past three decades, there is no question that drunk driving continues to be an epidemic. Missouri residents should know that 30 people in this country die every day in drunk driving crashes according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
In 2017, the latest year for which NHTSA has complete data, there were 10,874 deaths resulting from drunk driving accidents. However, it turns out that motorcyclists, not drivers, see the highest rate of deadly drunk driving crashes. Of the 4,885 motorcyclists killed in 2017, 1,357 or 28% were discovered to be intoxicated. Motorcyclists in their 40s were the most likely to be found intoxicated.
The effects of drunk driving are clear. Alcohol affects the central nervous system and can lead to impaired judgment, slow reaction times and memory lapses. Drunk drivers can have difficulty tracking moving objects, steering, braking, seeing traffic signals and maintaining their lane. Even a small amount of alcohol results in some loss of judgment as well as changes in mood.
During those times when one is liable to drink too much, one should designate a sober driver for a ride home. An intoxicated person could also call a taxi or ridesharing vehicle.
Drunk drivers choose to get behind the wheel and should be held responsible if they get in a car accident. As for those who are injured, they may want to learn about their options during a legal consultation. If hired, a lawyer might bring in investigators and other third parties to prove the drunk driver’s negligence and measure the extent of the injuries and damage. The lawyer may then assist with filing the claim against the driver’s insurance company.