Durham Personal Injury Attorney – With the warmer weather rolling in, more and more people will be going downtown on the weekends or heading to outdoor parties and cookouts. Since alcohol is commonly available among these festivities, it’s important for everyone to remember that driving under the influence puts you, your passengers, and other people on the road in danger. It also presents an opportunity for you to get charged with a DWI.
Risking your life, the life of others or even just your driver’s license is not worth the risk. Remember to call a cab/Uber/Lyft, use a designated driver, or to stay wherever you are drinking. Here are a few drunk driving statistics to remember before you consider getting behind the wheel or letting someone else drive home drunk.
Drunk Driving Statistics
- In 2012, a total of 10,322 people died in alcohol-related vehicle accidents. That is a rate of 1 person every 51 minutes. This number accounts for 31% of the total vehicle accident deaths in 2012.
- In 2013, a total of 10,072 people died in alcohol-related vehicle accidents. That is a rate of 1 person every 52 minutes. Approximately 290,000 people were injured.
- In 2012, 239 (20%) traffic deaths for children ages 0 to 14 years old were due to alcohol-related crashes. More alarming, over half of those 239 children were passengers in a vehicle driven by someone who was under the influence of alcohol.
- Between 2003 and 2012, 4,102 people were killed in North Carolina in an alcohol-related vehicle accident.
- In 2011, alcohol-related vehicle fatalities occurred at a rate of 4.5 times more frequently at night than they did during daylight hours.
- In 2017 alone, 8,176 alcohol-related vehicle accidents occurred in North Carolina with 208 people killed as a result.
- Of all drivers arrested on drunk driving charges, about 1/3 have been arrested for driving under the influence in the past.
- Someone is injured in a motor vehicle accident involving alcohol every 2 minutes.
How Can These Numbers be Lowered?
Following these tips when planning an event or outing can help keep you and your friends or family safe.
- Use a designated driver when going out or volunteer to be the designated driver.
- Call a cab for you or a house guest who has had too much to drink.
- Download and set up the Uber or Lyft app prior to the event if you or others plan to drink.
- Speak to your teenagers about the dangers of getting in a vehicle with someone who has been drinking.
- Don’t provide alcohol to anyone under 21.
How do Cops Spot a Drunk Driver?
Fortunately, many people are charged with driving under the influence before they have a chance to cause an accident. There are several signs that law enforcement officers are looking to spot a drunk driver. Remember these warning signs and use extreme caution if you come across a driver who is exerting these behaviors on the road:
- Making wide or erratic turns
- Driving at an abnormally slow speed
- Driving along the centerline or off the shoulder
- Driving on the wrong side of the road
- Not using headlights when it is dark
- Stopping without cause
- Swerving or weaving within the lane
- Using signals incorrectly
- Nearly hitting another object such as a mailbox
- Ignoring stoplights, stop signs and other traffic signals
When you are the victim of a motor vehicle accident, the time that follows can be chaotic as you are thrown into doctors' appointments, medical bills, insurance claims, and more. When you learn your injuries could have been prevented if the driver had not been drinking before getting behind the wheel, it is easy to become even more frustrated.
Working with a Durham Personal Injury Attorney can be helpful in letting you get back on your feet while the attorney handles the legal details. The personal injury attorneys at Wallace Pierce Law in Durham want to speak to you about your case to see how we can help. Call (919) 887-7892 today to schedule your free consultation.
Source: MADD – Drunk Driving Statistics