Drunk Driving in America

The Cost of Drunk Driving in America

It’s no secret that the 4th of July kicks off the summer’s spike in drunk-driving related crashes. College students are out for summer, people are enjoying cold beers at barbeque and families are seemingly carefree for a few hot months. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) wants motorists need to be aware of the dangers associated with drunk driving and how to stop these preventable potentially injury-causing and fatal crashes from happening.

2013 Drunk Driving Facts

  • There were 10,076 fatalities in crashes involving drunk drivers.
  • An average of one drunk-driving fatality occurred every 52 minutes.
  • Fatalities occurring in alcohol-impaired driving crashes accounted for 31 percent of total traffic fatalities for the year.
  • Of the traffic fatalities among children ages 14 years old and younger, about 17 percent occurred in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes.
  • The 21 to 24-year-old age group had the highest percentage of drivers in fatal crashes with blood alcohol content (BAC) levels of .08 or higher (33 percent).

Economic Cost of Drunk Driving Crashes

The NHTSA estimates that the economic cost of alcohol-impaired-driving crashes in the U.S. in 2010 (the most recent year for which data is available) was $49.8 billion. These costs take into account lost productivity, workplace losses, legal and court expenses, medical costs, emergency medical services (EMS), insurance administration, congestion and property damage. These are just the tangible costs were talking about. This estimate doesn’t take into account the human toll or the cost to quality of life for victims or surviving loved ones. When quality of life values were considered and total society harm value estimated, the total number was around $206.9 billion.

When to Contact a Car Accident Attorney

Injury-causing and fatal drunk driving crashes are 100 percent preventable. If you have been injured or if you are taking care of an injured loved one due to the actions of a drunk driver, you need to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney about your case. Insurance companies can be less than helpful in your time of need and you need an advocate on your side.

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