How common are drunk driving accidents?

Every day across this country, Americans, including Tennesseans, are put at risk of harm by those who have chosen to climb behind the wheel of their vehicle while intoxicated. Though it may seem that drunk driving accidents occur only every now and then, the truth of the matter is much more startling.

According to the CDC, drunk driving is a big problem. In fact, the CDC claims that 30 people are killed every day in wrecks involving alcohol-impaired motorists. In 2010 alone, more than 10,000 people were killed in drunk driving accidents, representing almost one-third of all traffic fatalities. Sadly, a significant portion of these deaths involved young children who were passengers in vehicles involved in these accidents.

There are certain groups of people who are more likely to cause tragic drunk driving crashes. The CDC reports that 34 percent of those involved in a fatal alcohol-related accident were young, between the ages of 21 and 24. Motorcyclists are also susceptible to driving while impaired. In 2010, 28 percent of motorcyclists killed in an accident had a blood-alcohol content level .08 percent or higher. Those who have a prior DWI are also more likely to cause a fatal car accident.

These statistics highlight just how prevalent drunk driving is and how fatal it can be. Unfortunately, though steps are being taken to lessen the number of drunk drivers on the road, implemented safety measures do nothing to help those who have already suffered serious injuries in a wreck. These individual may, however, turn to the civil law system in an attempt to recover their losses. If negligence and causation can be satisfactorily shown, then these individuals may be able to recover losses such as medical expenses and lost wages. However, every accident case is different, so it may be beneficial to discuss the matter with an experienced attorney.

Source: CDC, "Impaired Driving: Get the Facts," accessed on Aug. 11, 2014

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