The winter holiday season is quickly approaching in Indianapolis, and this means holiday office parties, family celebrations and many other opportunities to consume alcohol. Unfortunately, some people will inevitably take the matter too far and will decide to drive while impaired by alcohol. This can lead to drunk driving accidents, which are a serious problem in our nation.
How big is the impaired driving problem in the U.S.?
Impaired driving is a significant issue in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2016 over 10,000 people lost their lives in drunk driving accidents. This accounted for 28% of all traffic fatalities in the nation that year.
Drunk driving especially impacts children. Of the 1,233 traffic fatalities in 2016 involving those between ages 0 to 14, 17% of these fatalities were caused by a drunk driver.
It is important to note that impaired driving is not limited to alcohol. In 2016, approximately 16% of car accidents involved a motorist who had either legal or illegal drugs other than alcohol in their system.
What can we do to prevent impaired driving crashes?
It is up to motorists to adhere to their duty of care and avoid impaired driving. This may mean riding with a designated driver or taking a taxi or ride share service home after a night of drinking. Party hosts should remind guests not to drink and drive and should offer guests alcohol-free drinks.
Unfortunately, not all motorists will meet their duty of care this holiday season and will drive drunk, causing a car crash that injures or kills another person. When this happens, the crash victims may want to determine if they can pursue a legal claim against the drunk driver to recover compensation for the damages they suffered. Personal injury attorneys in Indianapolis may be a useful resource for those who want more information on this topic.