Labor Day is now behind us and the unofficial end of summer is here. With the coming festivities and holidays, there will likely be impaired drivers on Orange County roads. While police officers do their best to pull over and arrest impaired drivers, many of them continue to go under the radar.
The good news is that deaths caused by drunk driving crashes have decreased over the past three decades. The bad news is more than 10,000 people still die each year due to impaired driving. Drunk driving fatalities make up 29 percent of all road deaths in the United States. In 2017, drunk drivers took the lives of 220 children nationwide, more than half of whom were in a car with an impaired driver.
How widespread is drugged driving?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that anyone driving impaired should not get behind the wheel. The problem isn't just confined to alcohol. More people today are using prescription drugs, which can inhibit their ability to drive.
“Almost everyone knows that driving drunk is dangerous, puts lives at risk, and can get you a DUI – but there isn’t the same awareness for drug-impaired driving,” said Heidi King, NHTSA Deputy Administrator.
The NHTSA identifies the ways drug impairment can contribute to the likelihood of a crash:
- Delayed reaction time and impairments to judgment and coordination
- Reckless behavior and risk-taking
- Increased drowsiness, dizziness, or confusion
- Amplified impairment due to mixing drugs
Prevention starts with driver responsibility
Preventing impaired driving crashes starts with awareness. The NHTSA offers these tips:
- If you plan on consuming alcohol, be sure to arrange for safe transportation by having a designated driver or hailing a rideshare app.
- Do not drive when impaired by prescription medications or marijuana. Doing so is not only illegal, it also puts others in danger.
- If you see an impaired driver on the road, keep your distance and call 911 as soon as possible.
- Don't let friends or family drive impaired. Take away their keys and arrange for safer transportation options.
If you or a loved one was injured in a crash with a drunk or drug-impaired driver, you may be entitled to compensation. The experienced car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Daniel C. Carlton know how to take on the insurance companies and get results. We help injured motorists throughout Orange County recover medical expenses, lost wages, and additional non-economic damages after a crash.
To learn how we can help you, contact us online to set up your free initial consultation.