Drunk driving still kills over 10,000 Americans a year

Kentucky motorists might be concerned to learn that 10,874 people were killed in drunk-driving accidents in 2017, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That adds up to one death every 48 minutes and almost 30 deaths per day.

Alcohol impairs drivers by reducing the cognitive functions in their brain, including their thinking and reasoning skills. It also reduces muscle coordination and reaction times. The more alcohol someone drinks, the greater impact it will have on their driving abilities. Currently, the legal limit is .08% in all states except Utah, which has enacted a lower limit. While these are the legal limits, drivers should understand that even small amounts of alcohol can impair their ability to safely drive a vehicle. For example, over 1,800 people died in traffic accidents where drivers had alcohol levels below the legal limit in 2017.

Even though drunk driving is dangerous and illegal, thousands of people still do it every year. Statistics show that male drivers are more likely than female drivers to become involved in a fatal drunk-driving crash. For example, 21% of men involved in fatal alcohol-related crashes in 2017 were drunk, compared to 14% of women. Meanwhile, drunk drivers who are arrested face harsh penalties, including the loss of driving privileges, steep fines and jail time.

People who are injured in car accidents that were caused by a drunk driver often need extensive and expensive medical care and treatment, during which they are unable to return to work. They might find it advisable to have the assistance of an attorney when seeking compensation for their losses.

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O'Brien Batten & Kirtley, PLLC

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