As a careful driver, you know how important it is to avoid alcohol before getting behind the wheel of your vehicle. Sadly, other drivers in West Virginia do not take the dangers of drunk driving as seriously as you do. So even if you do your best to practice safe driving habits, you are still at the mercy of other drivers.
Drunk drivers are second only to distracted drivers when it comes to the number of car accidents they cause. However, drunk driving accidents are the most deadly of all collisions. In 2017 alone, drunk driving caused 22% of the approximate 56,000 fatalities that year. Of those, 2,000 involved drivers who were impaired but below the legal limit.
Does age matter?
Age certainly seems to influence whether an intoxicated person decides to drive. Again in 2017, 42% of drunk drivers who died in car crashes were between the ages of 16 and 24. It is possible that this age group's lack of practice behind the wheel might also contribute to the high drunk driver fatality rate.
That same year, drivers between the ages of 21 and 24 accounted for 27% of all drunk drivers. The next largest group of drunk drivers were those aged 25 to 34. When looking at only college aged drivers, they are involved in approximately 19% of drunk driving accidents.
Drivers overestimate their abilities
A 2020 survey from The Zebra found that approximately 26% of respondents say they would still drive even after three or four drinks. Around 6% said they still feel well enough to drive until they have had more than five. This might help explain the 18.9% of respondents who admitted to driving while buzzed.
Thousands are dying
Over the 10 years between 20016 and 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 10,000 drunk driving deaths. A little over 20% of people between the ages of 35 to 44 have already experienced the profound loss of a loved one, friend or acquaintance in a drunk driving accident. There may be a small glimmer of hope for the future though as over half of people aged 18 to 24 say they always use rideshares such as Uber or Lyft when they go out drinking.
Drunk drivers compromise the safety of everyone on the road. Unfortunately, you understand this all too well. Recovering from your drunk driving accident has probably been hard, and now you are dealing with a long recovery, medical bills, and pain and suffering. Although this situation might feel impossible, you have options for recovering essential compensation. An experienced attorney should be able to walk you through the process of successfully filing a personal injury lawsuit.