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The Dangers of Impaired Driving: A Look at the Facts

April 6, 2017 Drunk & Distracted Driving Accidents

Each year, tens of thousands of people across the country suffer injuries in car accidents that occur due to impaired driving. Some are fortunate enough to escape with minor scrapes and bruises, while others lose their lives due to the reckless actions of motorists who get behind the wheel after consuming drugs or alcohol.

It is an undeniable fact that impaired driving is an inherently dangerous and potentially deadly action. Any driver who is found guilty of driving under the influence (DUI) after a car accident that results in injury or death to another person will likely face prison time and significant fines. These individuals are often considered automatically liable when it comes to civil claims filed against them.

The following are some notable statistics compiled by Mothers Against Drunk Driving that demonstrate just how dangerous and harmful operating while intoxicated can be:

  • Every two minutes on average, a person in the United States is injured in an accident involving an intoxicated driver.
  • 28.7 million people admitted to driving while drunk in 2013. That staggering number is more than the entire population of Texas.
  • About 28 people die on average each day in America due to accidents drunk drivers cause.
  • Every adult in the United States is paying about $500 per year to cover the costs incurred by drunk drivers. It costs the United States about $132 billion per year overall.
  • 10,265 people were killed in drunk driving accidents in 2015, which amounted to one every 51 minutes. Another 290,000 were injured in these crashes.
  • 1,149 children age 14 and younger were killed in traffic accidents in 2013. Of that total, 200 were killed as a result of drunk drivers, and of that 200, 121 were in the same vehicle as the drunk driver. Twenty-nine of those child deaths were pedestrians or bicyclists who were struck by drunk drivers.

Why is Drunk Driving so Dangerous?

In both North Carolina and South Carolina, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level at or above .08 percent. The number of drinks it takes to get to this percentage depends on the person, with some registering BAC levels above the legal limit after as few as two alcoholic beverages.

At .08 percent, individuals’ muscle coordination becomes compromised, making it more difficult to maintain normal balance, vision, reaction time and speech. It is also more difficult for these individuals to detect danger and exercise the self-control and reasoning of a sober person. There are also negative impacts on one’s ability to concentrate and efficiently process information.

The evidence all points to drunk driving being an incredibly dangerous and negligent activity. If you or a loved one have been injured due to an impaired motorist, seek the assistance of an experienced Charlotte personal injury attorney at Wallace Childers PLLC. The firm serves the needs of injured people in both North Carolina and South Carolina.