We all know drunk driving is dangerous, yet it still happens all the time. Unfortunately, when drunk drivers cause accidents, the wrecks are often very serious, and significant damage results.
As a people, we have much better chances of reducing the number of drunk driving-related injuries that occur each year if we understand just how pervasive the issue is.
Here are five things you should know about drunk driving-related injuries:
#1 - Every day, around 28 people experience fatal injuries in the United States as a result of drunk driving accidents.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), one person dies every 52 minutes due to drunk driving. In 2019, 10,142 people died because of drunk driving.
#2 - Drunk driving injuries are always preventable.
When a drunk person gets behind the wheel, they are making a decision to put themselves and others at risk. We should all make the biggest effort possible not to allow others to drive while intoxicated.
Similarly, if you have children who are teenagers or are approaching the legal driving age, it’s essential you explain how dangerous drunk driving is. Let them know it’s never okay to get behind the wheel while impaired.
#3 - Sober people are significantly more likely than drunk people to endure fatal injuries as a result of a car accident.
Unfortunately, when you’re sober and are about to get into a collision, your instincts will tell you to prepare for impact and you may do any of the following:
- Slam your foot on the brake
- Grab onto the steering wheel
- Brace hands on the roof during a roll-over accident
When you brace for impact, your muscles are constricted, which multiplies the likelihood of injury because it reduces the distance of deceleration. Consider this analogy from a practicing New York State Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), “Think of it like catching a baseball: if you ‘soft catch’ by letting your arm bend to absorb some of the impact, it will hurt a lot less than catching it with your arm locked straight out.”
On the other hand, drunk people don’t anticipate the impact, which consequently reduces the chances that the individual will be harmed in an accident. Because intoxicated people fail to resist a crash, they are more likely to absorb the energy produced by the impact of the collision.
According to advice from a Medevac nurse, “Try to relax as best as possible and don’t try to control your body or grab for anything.”
#4 - Drunk driving collisions typically involve three separate impacts.
When a drunk driving collision occurs, the resulting three separate impacts are as follows:
- The vehicle hitting an object,
- The operator (or passenger) slamming into the vehicle’s interior; and
- The person’s internal organs bashing around inside of the body.
While these three separate impacts are happening, the vehicle occupant is going through rapid deceleration, which causes tremendous amounts of strain on the solid organs and bones, which is often what causes fatalities.
The second and third impacts happen more closely, which decreases the chance for energy absorption and intensifies the consequences of the crash.
#5 - If you’re injured in a crash with a drunk driver, you may be owed compensation.
Sustaining injuries in a crash as a result of a drunk driver can be devastating. However, if it happened to you and you’re reading this today, you are fortunate to be alive.
Just because you lived to tell the tale, doesn’t mean the drunk driver should be able to get away with their actions. It is critical you are compensated for your damages, including:
- Medical care
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
If you’ve been injured in an accident with a drunk driver, we may be able to help you recover the compensation you rightly deserve. Don’t hesitate to contact our office right away to discuss your case and learn how we can help.
Call the Charlotte lawyers at Benoit Law Firm, PLLC today at (877) 909-4088 to speak with an attorney about your case.