Drunk Driving Awareness

Driving defensively has become a necessity in a world where traffic seems to increase daily and drivers have more and more distractions to take their attention off concentrating on the road. However, despite numerous distractions, it continues to be imperative to be aware of other drivers who show signs of intoxication, because this is a potentially fatal situation.

The number of alcohol-related car crashes has declined, but continues to be a leading and often deadly cause of accidents. While a driver can’t prevent every mishap from occurring, at least drivers can be armed with signs that indicate the driver in the car next to them or in front of them is impaired as a result of alcohol consumption.

General Statistics

While it is good news that statistics from the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) show that the number of drunk driving fatalities has decreased an impressive 49% between 1991 and 2013, the number of alcohol related fatalities in 2013 was still over 10,000. Among the people killed in drunk driving accidents, 65% were drivers with levels of alcohol over the legal limit; 27% of the fatalities involved vehicle occupants; and 8% involved non-occupants.

It’s not possible to get a completely accurate estimation of the number of people who suffer non-fatal injuries in car accidents involving alcohol impaired drivers because not every accident is reported to the police. But the NHTSA estimates that 7% of all traffic accidents that cause injury involve alcohol-related crashes, and that 10% of all people who receive injuries in traffic accidents do so in alcohol related crashes.

Younger Drivers

Adding to the problem is the number of alcohol related car accidents involving young drivers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers chilling statistics: Drunk drivers aged 21 to 24 years old account for 32% of alcohol-related fatalities, followed by ages 25 to 34 years old (30%) and ages 35 to 44 years old (24%).

Young Victims

Even more unsettling are the statistics involving injuries and fatalities to children. According to MADD, in 2012, 239 passengers under the age of 15 were killed in drunk driving car crashes. Slightly over half (52%) were passengers in vehicles driven by drunk drivers, but this number accounts for 20% of all child traffic fatalities.

Knowing the Signs

Unfortunately, there is no way to guarantee that you won’t be the victim of a car crash caused by a drunk driver. MADD estimates that two out of three people will be involved in an alcohol-related car accident during his or her lifetime. However, there are certain signs of impaired driving that you – as a driver or a passenger – can learn to recognize and report.

  • Weaving or zigzagging across the road or in and out of lanes
  • Quick acceleration or slowing for no apparent reason
  • Almost striking a vehicle or curb
  • Slow responses (abrupt stops or delayed starts) to traffic signals
  • Driving without headlights at night

Drunk drivers must be held accountable for the lives they take or affect. If you have lost a loved one to a drunk driver, or you have suffered injury as a result of a drunk driving accident, let us help. Call Jacobs Law, LLC at (317) 794-2024 or fill out our online contact form to get the process started.