Drunk Driving Accidents
It is a widely accepted fact that getting behind the wheel of a car after consuming too much alcohol can significantly increase your risk of being involved in a serious car accident. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2016, close to 10,500 people died in drunk driving accidents in the United States. Too much alcohol can impair a driver’s judgment, coordination, and ability to react to other drivers on the road. Fortunately, drunk driving accidents are entirely preventable if motorists make safe, responsible choices when it comes to drinking and driving.
How Much Is Too Much?
In general, drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher are considered too drunk to drive. However, alcohol affects everyone differently, so someone with a BAC of .01 to .07 can also be impaired and cause a serious alcohol-related accident. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that people with a BAC of .02 can experience loss of judgment, a decline in visual functions, and are less able to multitask. People with a BAC of .05 may experience a loss of muscle control, reduced coordination and ability to track moving objects, difficulty steering, and slower reaction times.
While people of all ages and economic backgrounds continue make the irresponsible decision to drive under the influence, certain people are at greater risk of being involved in a serious drunk driving accident. Studies reveal the following:
- Nearly 30 percent of fatally injured drivers with BAC levels of 0.08 percent or higher are between the ages of 25 and 34
- Twenty-five percent of motorcyclists killed in drunk driving accidents in 2016 had a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher
- Drivers involved in a fatal drunk driving accident who had a BAC of 0.08 percent were 4.5 times more likely to have had a prior DWI conviction
Pursuing Legal Action Following a Drunk Driving Accident
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, there are a number of legal options to pursue. Because New Jersey is a no-fault insurance state, each driver’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage is the first resource for recovery of medical expenses, lost wages, or death benefits. In cases involving serious injury, you may be able file a personal injury claim for additional injury-related expenses and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.
Preventing Drunk Driving Accidents
Drivers and passengers should keep the following preventative tips in mind before getting into a car:
- If you are attending a party where alcohol is being served, choose a designated driver who will be responsible for getting you home safely.
- If you suspect that your friend is impaired, do not let him or her get behind the wheel.
- Call a rideshare service or taxi if you or your designated driver is unable to drive.
- If you are hosting a party, provide non-alcoholic beverages and monitor your guests for signs of intoxication. If a guest has had too much to drink, take steps to ensure he or she does not get behind the wheel.
Cherry Hill Car Accident Lawyers at Williams Cedar Represent Victims of Drunk Driving Accidents
If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident, contact the Cherry Hill car accident lawyers at Williams Cedar. We will protect your rights and secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 215-557-0099 or contact us online. Our offices are located in Haddonfield, New Jersey and Philadelphia, allowing us to represent accident victims in South Jersey, Pennsylvania, and nationwide.