Getting behind the wheel after a few too many drinks is a dangerous decision. Public awareness campaigns and enforcement efforts by state and local law enforcement agencies have helped to decrease the rate of fatal drunk driving crashes.
Given that traffic fatalities, including drunk driving deaths, are on the decline, you might imagine that they are no longer a noteworthy risk for someone traveling on public roadways. However, drunk driving still causes thousands of deaths every year. In reality, while drunk driving death rates are lower, it still remains a leading cause of motor vehicle crashes and fatalities.
How many people die due to impaired drivers?
Traffic statistics vary from year to year, but drunk driving consistently remains a top cause of preventable fatal collisions. In 2018, the most recent year with data available, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recorded 10,511 drunk driving deaths.
Although some of those deaths involve the person who is distracted by passengers in their vehicle, a large number of those killed by impaired drivers were innocent people who just crossed paths with the wrong person on the road. Especially when you consider the fact that the total number of traffic deaths in 2018 was 36,560, the number of drunk driving deaths represents a significant portion of the total traffic fatalities in the country.
What rights do you have after a drunk-driving crash?
Driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is absolutely against the law. It is possible that the state may prosecute the driver who caused the crash that hurt you or claimed the life of your loved one.
Regardless of whether or not the state pursues criminal charges, you may have the right to seek compensation via a lawsuit. Those who suffer physical injuries or substantial property damage can bring personal injury claims against the driver. Those who lose a loved one because of an impaired driver may be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the person who caused the crash.
Seeking financial compensation not only helps reduce the impact of someone’s bad decision on your life, but it may also provide a sense of justice, especially if the state didn’t prosecute the offender who caused the collision or if they managed to avoid conviction or jail time.