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Alcohol-impaired driving statistics and prevention

South Carolina drivers and passengers might be surprised to learn that every 51 minutes someone in the United States dies because of an auto accident involving an impaired driver. Car accidents caused by alcohol-impaired drivers comprise 31 percent of the nation's traffic-related fatalities. A large number of children are among the victims, some who are riding with an impaired driver. There are, however, some effective measures to prevent injuries and deaths caused by impaired driving.

More than 1.4 million people were caught driving while impaired by alcohol in 2010, but that is only representative of 1 percent of the self-reported instances of alcohol-impaired driving by adults. Of the cases where people died as a result of an alcohol-impaired driver, around 18 percent also involved a driver using drugs in addition to abusing alcohol. People between the ages of 21 and 24 accounted for the largest group responsible for deadly accidents in 2012. Motorcyclists and people with past DWI convictions are also among the most likely to be involved in fatal accidents.

Sobriety checkpoints and ignition interlocks are among some of the ways that alcohol-impaired driving crashes could be prevented. Additionally, when people who drive while intoxicated lose their licenses and when drinking laws are actively enforced, these methods have been shown to prevent fatalities and injuries from alcohol-related accidents. Imposing higher taxes on alcohol, which then makes the cost of alcohol go up, is another prevention strategy. Compulsory evaluations and subsequent treatment for people caught driving while intoxicated is also effective.

Even with increased measures to combat impaired driving, some people will still go out and cause car accidents. Their victims' lives might be forever changed. A personal injury attorney can attempt to help victims get the compensation they need for medical and other expenses related to an accident.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Impaired Driving: Get the Facts", January 05, 2015

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