Many people like to drink alcoholic beverages. At parties, at bars, at concerts, alcohol consumption is common and tends to lend to a festive atmosphere. Often people let go of their inhibitions when under the influence of alcohol, let themselves go a little more than they otherwise might, and often have more fun.
However, alcohol also reduces brain function and impairs thinking, reasoning, and physical coordination. While some of these effects might enhance a good time, they definitely do not enhance your ability to operate a motor vehicle safely. Quite the opposite. Nearly 29 people die in the United States every single day in traffic accidents involving alcohol, and in 2016, the toll was one person every 50 minutes. While drunk-driving accidents are down sharply in the last 30 years, such traffic accidents still claim more than 10,000 lives every year, costing roughly $44 billion in property and human damage every year.
If you have suffered injuries in a traffic accident involving a drunk driver, you should seek legal counsel to explore your options for recovering damages. The attorneys of Brauns Law can help you. Contact us at (404) 205-8614, or through our online contact form.
Drunk Driving is a Sure-Fire Killer on the Roads
Drunk driving is a leading cause of traffic accidents in the United States each year. While numbers are down, drunk driving still caused 28 percent of all traffic-accident deaths in 2016. Also in 2016:
- There were nearly 10,500 fatalities from alcohol-impaired traffic accidents in the United States
- For children 14 years old or younger who died in traffic accidents, 17 percent dies as a result of alcohol-involved crashes
With more than one in four traffic deaths annually coming in alcohol-involved crashes nationally, how does Georgia stack up? In the 10 years from 2003 through 2012, nearly 3,700 died in alcohol-related traffic accidents in Georgia. That actually put Georgia below the national average in death rate by age. In 2012, that rate was 1.0 per 100,000 for people younger than 20 versus a national rate of 1.3 per 100,000; 5.8 per 100,000 for ages 21 through 34, as opposed to a national rate of 6.7; and an overall rate per 100,000 of 3.0 versus a national rate of 3.3.
Other statistics also make Georgia look relatively good compared to the national average. In 2016, Georgia suffered 368 drunk-driving fatalities, compared to 10,497 nationwide. That amounted to 23.5 percent of all traffic deaths in Georgia, compared to 28 percent of nationwide traffic fatalities consisting of drunk-driving deaths. However, in 2016, Georgia’s death rate from drunken-driving rose to 3.6 fatalities per 100,000 population, compared to 3.3 deaths per 100,000 nationwide.
Believe it or not, there are ways to avoid an accident with a drunk driver. Holiday weekends remain a dangerous time for drunk-driving accidents. For obvious reasons, holidays such as Memorial Day, Labor Day, and New Year’s Eve are very dangerous, with increasing risks of drunk driving traffic accidents and higher numbers of fatalities. Put simply, there are more drunk drivers on the road on holiday weekends. The best way to avoid an accident with a drunk driver is to avoid driving on holiday weekends, or at least not at night. The later at night on a holiday weekend, the more likely you are to at least see a drunk driver, if not encounter one in an up-close and personal sort of way that involves vehicle damage and injuries.
However, it is not always practical to avoid driving, and there may be drunk drivers on the road at any time on any given day. No matter how safe you are, a drunk driver can always crash into your car and cause you serious injuries.
After an Accident with a Drunk Driver, You Should Take Steps To Protect Your Rights
If you have the misfortune to be in an automobile accident that involves a drunk driver, you should immediately take steps to protect your rights. This might seem counter-intuitive if you are the sober driver. After all, drunk driving is against the law. The drunk driver is likely to be prosecuted criminally. A conviction of the intoxicated driver would surely help you to prove liability, would it not?
It never hurts to be sure. Your claim for compensation will come in a civil action, not in the criminal case. If you are seeking financial compensation for your injuries and damages, you still need to show that the other driver was at fault. A criminal conviction of the intoxicated driver helps, but you can do things at the scene of the accident to help your case.
If you are in an accident and you think the other driver is under the influence of alcohol or other substances, you should take certain steps, assuming you are able to do so. If you are able to do so, you should
- Call for 911 and ask for police and emergency medical assistance, as needed
- Avoid interaction with the driver you believe to be intoxicated. If you can, stay in your car, lock the doors and await the police
- Record the other driver’s license plate number
- Once the police are there, ask for a sobriety test for the other driver.
- Take pictures of the scene if you are able.
- As soon as you are able, record everything you remember about the accident, whether in writing or in audio on your phone. Note the time, location, and all other details you can remember about the accident, including names of passengers or other witnesses if possible.
If You Suffered Injuries in an Accident with a Drunk Driver, Consult an Atlanta Drunk-Driving Accident Lawyer as Soon as Possible
The lawyers of Brauns Law routinely represent clients who are injured in accidents with drunk drivers. They are ready to assist you with your situation. If a drunk driver caused you injuries, contact us (404) 205-8614, or through our online contact form.