Being involved in a car accident can be traumatic.
With a drunk driver involved, it can be even worse. Not only does the drunk driver put themselves in a dangerous situation, but they also put the lives of innocent people on the road at risk as well.
Drinking and driving are when someone operates a vehicle after consuming alcohol. While the blood alcohol level of 0.08 and under is considered safe to drive, getting behind the wheel after any alcohol can lead to deadly consequences.
You might be wondering: how many accidents are caused by drunk driving? Although the statistics have changed over the years, the answer might surprise you.
Keep reading to learn more about drunk driving statistics and what to do if you’ve been involved in a car accident with a drunk driver.
Types of Accidents Caused by Intoxicated Drivers
If we look at the percentage of car accidents caused by drunk driving, there are several different ways that an accident can occur.
Alcohol can impair the driver’s judgment, including their reaction time and coordination. This poor decision can lead to deadly consequences. Here are some of the different types of accidents:
A drunk driver can fall asleep at the wheel and veer into oncoming traffic. They are unable to read traffic signs, have less control over their movements, and might be completely blacked out. This can cause a serious head-on collision.
The reaction time of a drunk driver is much slower than that of a sober driver. A drunk driver might also not be able to judge the distance between two vehicles, making it easy to come too close and eventually cause an accident.
If a driver is under the influence of alcohol, they are less likely to notice pedestrians, especially while driving at night. This can cause major injuries and even death to someone innocently walking on the street.
A drunk driver may not be able to read the sign and see that they are going the wrong way down a one-way street. They may not even be able to see a turn or exit for a highway and put the other drivers on the road at risk.
How Many Accidents Are Caused by Drunk Driving
If you’re wondering how many drunk driving deaths there are each year, the statistics may surprise you.
On average, drunk drivers are responsible for more than 10,000 deaths each year. That’s about 27 deaths per day that are caused by an intoxicated individual getting behind the wheel of a vehicle.
According to the CDC, in 2016, the number of alcohol-impaired fatal crashes was 10,497. These accounted for almost 30% of all traffic accident deaths. What’s more, among the 1,233 deaths that involved children under the age of 14, 17% of the cases were related to alcohol impairment.
That same year, over one million drivers were arrested for driving while intoxicated, that includes alcohol and narcotics.
Recent drunk driving statistics reveal that these accidents add up to over $44 billion each year when you factor in deaths and damages.
However, the number of drunk driving deaths has decreased since the 1980s. Drunk driving deaths have decreased by 52% since 1982. While this is a good sign, there are still far too many needless deaths caused by drunk driving.
What to Do After a Drunk Driving Accident
There are several important steps to take if you are involved in a drunk driving accident. Depending on your level of injury, you might not be able to follow through on some of these steps. However, all parties involved in the accident must do the following:
Remain at the Scene
Stopping and remaining at the scene might sound like an obvious first step, but many drunk drivers flee the scene and try to avoid the consequences.
Whether you are walking or inside a vehicle during the accident, you must stop, remain as calm as possible before you act on the situation. You should only move your car if there is potential danger at the scene of the accident.
At this point, you want to check to make sure everyone is okay.
Get Help Immediately
Assessing your injuries and checking to see that everyone is okay is a crucial next step. Ensure that you or someone in the vicinity calls 911 and asks for help from the local police and paramedics.
It is important to know that auto insurance companies require you to notify the police so this will be a vital step for the proceedings after the accident.
Take Photos of the Crash Scene
Taking photographs and videos of the damages is very important in an automobile crash. Particularly if the other driver is intoxicated.
Photos of the vehicle damage will be able to access the speed and impact of the collision. It can also reveal important information about the severity of the injury before going to the hospital, the state of the other driver, and the layout of the road.
All of these help to reconstruct the accident and will help if you need to take the case to trial.
Information From Witnesses
Lastly, one of the most crucial steps following an accident is identifying the witnesses. You must get their contact information and their retelling of what happened. Witnesses can wander off a crash scene before the police have a chance to arrive so it is important for you to get the information that you need.
How to Hold a Drunk Driver Responsible
Drunk driving accidents can have damaging effects on your physical and mental health.
Not only can a drunk driver cause severe injuries, but mental pain and anguish can also be just as severe. This can leave you unable to work, enjoy physical activity, or even take care of your children.
Additionally, a severe injury can create expensive medical bills on top of emergency care and the inability to work.
If you or someone you love is involved in a drunk driving accident, you deserve compensation.
Opt for Personal Injury
After an accident, the police detain the drunk driver and while they are facing DUI charges and possible jail time, the court does not get compensation for you.
A criminal trial ensures that the drunk driver is punished for their actions but it does not provide the victim with any financial recompense.
Once the criminal trial is over, you will need to file a personal injury claim to get the compensation that you deserve. Even if the drunk driver was not found guilty in the trial, you can still file a claim to show how this driver’s negligence has directly impacted your life and health.
You can provide proof of emotional, physical, and mental harm that the accident has caused, and get paid for those damages.
Seek Compensation for Your Injuries
When seeking compensation for your injuries, it is important to include all of the ways in which the accident affected your life.
The criminal negligence of a drunk driver’s actions has directly impacted your ability to live a peaceful, active, and comfortable life. This means getting economic and non-economic compensation for the accident.
As previously mentioned, you can do this after the criminal trial is over. Once you have a list of damages, be sure to have a trusted personal injury lawyer look over your list.
While certain damages, like medical bills and lost wages, are easy to calculate, other damages are difficult to put a price on. Time lost with your loved ones, emotional suffering, and mental health deterioration are all important losses that also deserve compensation.
A car accident lawyer can help you understand the extent of damages and create an accurate list to file your claim.
Hire a Lawyer to Protect Your Claim
A drunk driving accident case can take a lot of time, money, and emotional suffering. It is also difficult to handle a delicate legal case on your own.
If you want to protect your claim, get compensation for your injuries, and get the most out of your claim, you want the help of a car accident lawyer.
Know the Statistics of Accidents Caused by Drunk Driving
Although the number of drunk driving fatalities has gone down, it is important to know how many accidents are caused by drunk driving each year. Being involved in a car accident can be traumatic and terrifying, especially if the driver is intoxicated. Be sure to understand the steps to take after an accident and how you can get the help you need and the compensation you deserve.
If you found this article helpful, keep coming back to our informative blog for legal advice on car accidents and more!