Since 1981, every president of the United States has proclaimed December as National Drunk & Drugged Driving Prevention Month or, since 2020, National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, to create awareness about the dangers of driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol. December is chosen for the simple reason that the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day have consistently higher rates of drug and alcohol related crashes.
Impaired driving accidents statistics during the winter holidays
- Over the Thanksgiving weekend, there are an average of 158 fatalities involving an alcohol-impaired driver, accounting for 36% of all traffic fatalities over that period.
- During the Christmas period, there are an average of 45 fatalities involving an alcohol-impaired driver each day.
- Over the New Year’s holiday there are an average of 54 fatalities per day involving an alcohol-impaired driver.
- According to the S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), 40 percent of traffic-related deaths during the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s involve drunk drivers. This marks a 12 percent increase over the rest of the month of December.
One of the reasons that impaired driving accidents increase over the holidays is that often people who rarely drink at other times decide to have a couple of drinks as they celebrate the holidays and then falsely assume that they are fine to drive. Because of their low tolerance, however, there is a high chance that one or two drinks are enough to impair their driving abilities.
We fight on behalf of those lost and injured due to impaired driving
If you lost a loved one in an impaired driving accident due to the reckless behavior of another driver, you are most likely dealing with heartache and worry about how you are going to afford your bills. In addition to regular expenses, such as food and mortgage payments, the medical bills from the accident, and funeral and burial expenses may be keeping you up at night. A wrongful death lawyer can ease your mind by discussing your legal rights and helping you recover a fair settlement for your losses, should you agree to work together. A wrongful death settlement typically covers funeral and burial expenses, medical bills, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, lost wages and other damages, depending on the circumstances of the case.
Impaired driving statistics
Over the years, drunk driving has received a lot more attention than drugged driving. While drunk driving is a very serious problem, it’s important that we also talk about drugged driving statistics and the risks of driving under the influence of drugs. According to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), in 2018, 20.5 million people drove under the influence of alcohol that year and an additional 12.6 million drove under the influence of illegal drugs.
The choice to drive while impaired ends in tragedy every day. According to data from CDC.gov, in the United States alone, one person tragically dies every 50 minutes in a drunk driving incident. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, 43.6 percent of drivers who were fatally injured in 2016 tested positive for drugs and over half of those drivers had two or more drugs present in their system.
How do alcohol and drugs increase the risk of motor vehicle accidents?
Every time we get behind the wheel, we are technically risking a motor vehicle accident. The best way to avoid a car accident is to be fully focused on the road and in a clear state of mind. When a driver consumes drugs or alcohol and then decides to drive before the effects have worn off, they are potentially driving with impaired judgement, slower reaction times, and decreased motor coordination. Different types of drugs can create different types of dangerous behaviors. For example, marijuana and alcohol often lead to slow reaction times while street drugs like cocaine can increase aggressive driving behaviors that can lead to an accident.
Seek the help of a car accident attorney
If you or a loved one was injured because of the negligence of another, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Let an experienced car accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!