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Drunk drivers still a frequent cause of car accidents


Although Floridians and people across the United States are fully aware of the dangers of encountering a drunk driver, these accidents still happen and there are people affected by them every day, with serious injuries and untimely deaths. The facts show that in spite of greater vigilance on the part of law enforcement to tamp down on drunk drivers and to stop drunk driving accidents before they can come to pass, they still occur all too frequently.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 people in the U.S. are killed in a crash involving a driver under the influence each day. That comes to one person dying within every one hour of every day. In addition, these accidents cost more than $44 billion.

Nearly 10,000 people died in an alcohol-related auto accident in 2014. That came to 31 percent of all traffic fatalities in the entire country. Children up to age 14 who died in an accident involving a driver under the influence came to 19 percent of all children who died in auto accidents. In that year, 209 children 14 and under were killed in car crashes. More than half, 116, were riding in a motor vehicle with a driver under the influence of alcohol.

Younger people are in accidents due to alcohol more often than older people. Thirty percent of the drivers who had levels of alcohol in their blood of 0.08 percent or above, and were in a fatal crash, were found to be between the ages of 21 and 24. Furthermore, motorcyclists are not immune to being involved in an alcohol-related crash. Of those killed in a crash in 2014, 29 percent had a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher. Of that group, those between the ages of 40 and 49 had the highest percentage of fatalities.

This is a recurring problem as drivers who were previously convicted for drunk driving were seven times as likely to be involved in a fatal crash due to alcohol than those who did not consume any alcohol. When there is an auto accident, those who were involved need to know how and why it happened. If it was due to a drunk driver, that can be a key fact in seeking compensation. People in the Tampa area who have suffered serious injury or lost a loved one in a car accident due to an impaired driver should make certain to protect their rights by speaking to an attorney about moving forward with legal action.

Source: CDC.gov, "Impaired Driving: Get the Facts," accessed on April 4, 2016

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