CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: What We Are Doing to Protect Our Clients

Toll of Drunk Driving Accidents


Toll of Drunk Driving Accidents

I’m Ed Smith, a Roseville car accident lawyer. With the holidays upon us, drinking and driving happens all too frequently. In what should be a season of merriment, for many, joy is replaced by grief when a family member dies due to a drunk driver. An important consideration is taking steps to avoid driving drunk.

Incidence of Drunk Driving Deaths

In 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicated that 10,265 people died in drunk driving accidents. Around the country, 28 individuals die in an accident with a drunk driver daily. Deaths of children up to the age of 14 were due to a drunk driving accident 16 percent of the time in 2015. The enormity of the problem goes beyond the actual number of people killed and injured. Out of 111 million people who said they drove drunk, only 1.1 million were arrested. That means the potential for drunk driving accidents is enormous.

Children and Drunk Driving

Out of 1,070 children who were killed in vehicular accidents, 209 died due to an accident involving a drunk driver, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Of these:

  • 29 percent were in another vehicle than the drunk driver.
  • 56 percent were in the same vehicle as the drunk driver.
  • 14 percent were pedestrians or cyclists.

How Alcohol Affects a Driver

The legal limit for drunk driving is a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08. This is equivalent to about four drinks containing alcohol. However, the effects of alcohol can be seen at lower levels. The following describes the effects of different BAC values:

  • 0.02 percent: This is equivalent to approximately two alcoholic beverages. Individuals with this amount of alcohol have difficulty visualizing fast-moving objects and multi-tasking.
  • 0.05 percent: Lessened ability to steer and loss of coordination is common at this level. Drivers also demonstrate a lessened ability to respond to emergency situations.
  • 0.08 percent: Aside from the above problems, drivers at this alcohol blood level display significant memory loss. In addition, the ability to process information or control speed is lost. Perception is significantly lowered.
  • 0.10 percent: A driver no longer has the ability to stay in a traffic lane or use his or her brakes appropriately. Their reaction time is severely distorted, and their thought processes are drastically reduced. Their speech is slurred.

Marijuana Use

Alcohol, although widely used, is not the only cause of impaired driving. Studies show that marijuana is the most common cause of impaired driving after alcohol. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration points out that the use of marijuana is increasing, particularly among young people. As early as 2014, 7,000 new users were reported by the CDC each month. The effects of marijuana when operating a motor vehicle are:

  • Slowed reaction time
  • Reduced decision-making skills
  • Distorted perception
  • Lack of coordination
  • Inability to solve problems
  • Memory loss

The effect of marijuana is enhanced by the concurrent use of alcohol. The number of drivers using marijuana is highest among nighttime and weekend drivers. If you’ve been injured in an accident with an impaired driver, contact a Roseville car accident lawyer.

Injuries in Drunk Driving Accidents

According to the NHTSA, 800 individuals are injured daily in impaired driving accidents. Injuries range from traumatic brain injury to abdominal trauma and multiple fractures. The cost of drunk driving injuries is over $200 billion each year. This results from a diverse list including wage loss, medical expenses, emergency services and property damage.


Ed Smith, Car Accident Lawyer in Roseville

Car Accident Lawyer in Roseville

I’m Ed Smith, a Roseville car accident lawyer. Impaired driving kills and maims a substantial number of victims each year. If you have been hurt by the negligence of drunk driving or a loved one was killed, turn to an experienced injury lawyer for help. Call my office at (916) 921-6400 in the Roseville area. You can also reach me at (800) 404-5400 if you are outside the calling area. I have an online contact form too. No matter how you contact me, you’ll receive friendly and free advice.

I’ve been helping Roseville and Northern Californians for over 35 years in wrongful death, truck and motorcycle accidents and dog bites. In each case,  I work to obtain just compensation for accident damages.

Take a look at the following to learn about my practice and what I’ve achieved on clients’ behalf:

The Million Dollar Advocates represents trial attorneys who have won $1 million settlements or verdicts. I am a California member.

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