According to statistics provided by Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, or MADD, drunk drivers kill 28 people every day. MADD is gratified that alcohol-related traffic fatalities have been cut in half since the organization was founded 35 years ago, but drunk driving is still a problem.
Who is most at risk? How can you spot an impaired driver? And when are such drivers most likely to be on the road?
A good economy means more road trips
When the economy is on an upswing, there are more people working and driving back and forth to their jobs. With more disposable income, people take vacations, especially in warmer weather, and lower gas prices allow them to enjoy road trips to reach their destinations. However, more people on our highways also translates to more car crashes. Along with speeding, texting and lack of seatbelt use, alcohol is a major contributing factor to traffic fatalities. Young adults aged 21 to 24 are most at risk for involvement in an alcohol-related crash, closely followed by drivers 25 to 34.
How alcohol affects a driver
Alcohol can impair both cognitive functioning and motor skills. The is reduced along with hand/eye/foot coordination. The most dangerous result of drinking too much alcohol, however, is the false sense of confidence a driver often feels, which is why an intoxicated person has no qualms about getting behind the wheel in the first place.
Spotting a drunk driver
Take care if you are near a vehicle having trouble staying in one lane, going too slow or making unusually wide turns. Stay well away from someone driving erratically—speeding up then slowing down—or someone practically on another driver’s bumper. Be especially alert if you are out after dark. In 2013, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics showed that impaired drivers were almost four times more likely to be in a nighttime accident as in a daytime crash. When? Look for them on the weekend between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.
If you are injured by a drunk driver
In Minnesota, a person who is injured in a car accident involving a drunk driver may be able to recover compensation from more than just the driver or the driver’s insurance company. Under Minnesota dram shop liability laws, an injured party may be able to bring a personal injury claim against a bar, restaurant or liquor store that sold liquor to the at-fault driver if the driver was underage or obviously drunk.
Drunk driving accidents often result in serious injuries. If you or a loved one is injured by a drunk driver, it is important to enlist the services of experienced attorneys like those at Law Firm. We understand the complexities of these cases and will work to maximize the amount you recover.