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Despite efforts to stop it, drunk driving still far too common

Drunk driving has been the target of legal reform and countless public service initiatives. The penalties for driving under the influence have become harsher, and television, print, radio, and social media campaigns have sought to spread statistics on the dangers of drunk driving. However, despite these efforts, drunk driving continues to be a problem that plagues the country. In fact, according to the CDC, nearly 30 people are killed every day in alcohol-related car accidents. After doing the math, this equates to one death in less than an hour every day.

But that's not the only number that is staggering. The CDC also reports that nearly 10,000 people were killed in drunk driving accidents in 2014, making up almost one-third of all traffic deaths. Additionally, more than one million drivers are arrested each year for driving while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs. If that number isn't scary enough, consider that that number only accounts for one percent of the individuals who self-reported driving while impaired by alcohol. That means that more than 120 million individuals admit to driving under the influence of alcohol each year.

The fact that drunk driving is increasing is enough to raise concern, but so, too, is the increase in marijuana use. Drug use, like alcohol use, can slow an individual's reaction time, distort his or her depth perception, and render it difficult to multi-task and avoid traffic accidents.

The truth of the matter is that the threat of criminal prosecution is not enough to keep these dangerous drivers off the road. Sadly, far too many of these drunk and drugged motorists cause accidents that leave innocent and unsuspecting individuals with serious injuries. When this happens, a victim may want to consider pursuing a personal injury lawsuit. A successful claim could result in the recovery of compensation to help pay for lost wages and medical expenses, but it might also send a strong message that drunk driving will not be tolerated. Hopefully, then, others will realize the true consequences of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

Source: CDC, "Impaired Driving: Get the Facts," accessed on April 3, 2017

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