Deaths Caused in Accidents With Drunk Drivers

By definition, the word “accident” refers to an event that is both “unexpected” and “unintentional” (The American Heritage Dictionary, 2nd College Ed.,). Everyone knows that alcohol and drugs impair a person’s ability to safely operate a vehicle. Moreover, we are constantly “bombarded” with ads telling us about the dangers of drinking and driving. Yet, some people do not hesitate to put themselves behind the wheel despite having had one too many drinks.

Alcohol-impaired accidents cause thousands of deaths every year in the United States, bringing emotional and financial devastation to the families of both the responsible driver and the victims. The loss of a loved one to a drunk driver is incomprehensible. Claims for wrongful death arising out of drunk driving accidents, allow a victims family to seek redress in a civil action, apart from any criminal charges a state may file against the accused.

Statistics of Accidents With Drunk Drivers

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 30 people die each day in the United States in accidents related to drunk drivers. That’s about one death every 48 minutes, with an annual cost of approximately $51 billion.

The following facts give us an idea of how grave is the situation:

  • Almost one third of all traffic-related deaths in the United States during 2010 were caused by alcohol-impaired (as the CDC defines these cases) drivers. The toll was 10,228 people killed by drunk drivers.
  • The number of children under the age of 14 that died in car accidents was 1,210. Of those victims,17 percent (211) were killed by drunk drivers.
  • More than half of the 211 children under the age of 14 that died in alcohol related car accidents during 2010 (131), were passengers in the car of the drunk driver.
  • More that 1.4 million people were arrested during 2010 for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. It is worth noting that despite the perception that most drunk drivers get arrested, the preceding number represents only one percent of the self-reported episodes of drinking and driving by adults each year.
  • Other drugs like marijuana and cocaine accounted for about 18 percent car accident related deaths in 2010. Please note that these drugs are often consumed with alcohol.
People at Risk

The people most at risk of dying in alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents are young people, motorcyclists and drivers with prior DUI/DWI convictions.

Regardless of the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level, young people are more at risk of getting involved in a car accident than older people. In fact, of all the drivers that got involved in fatal crashes while having a BAC of 0.08 percent (which is the legal limit in Florida), more than 34 percent (or one out of every three) were between the ages of 21 and 24.

Of all motorcyclists killed in fatal accidents, 28 percent were “legally drunk”. Curiously, older motorcyclists are more likely to suffer fatal accidents than younger riders. Almost half of the alcohol-impaired motorcyclists that die in crashes each year are 40 years or older and riders between the ages of 40 to 44 years old have a 44 percent chance (highest percentage among any group) to die in a crash while drunk.

Typically, drivers with a prior DUI conviction were four times more likely to get involved in a fatal accident while intoxicated than those without prior convictions.

We Can Help

If you have been injured in an accident with an alcohol-impaired driver or if you lost a loved one in an accident with an alcohol-impaired driver you need to immediately contact a law firm with experience handling these cases.

The lawyers of the Law Offices of Greenberg, Stone & Urbano have more than 100 years of combined experience handling all types of personal injury cases, including cases of fatal accidents with alcohol-impaired drivers. Please contact us at 305-595-2400 to schedule a free consultation. We handle all personal injury matter on contingency fees. This means that you do not have to pay us anything unless we obtain compensation for you.