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Are fatal drunk driving accidents common?

On Behalf of | Oct 14, 2021 | Personal Injury

Decades ago, the laws regarding drunk driving tightened in Mississippi and across the United States as a matter of public safety. Drunk driving puts people’s lives at risk because a drunk driver who loses control of a vehicle or commits a disastrous moving violation could cause a massive crash. The driver may not survive the collision, and neither might any victims of the crash. While many DUI stops end before anyone suffers harm, every instance of drunk driving comes with the potential for fatal results.

Drunk driving and the risks to people’s lives

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration keeps records of collision data, and the annual reports about drunk driving may frighten some road users. Although reports saw a significant decline in 2019, the total number of people who died in drunk driving collisions was 10,142. That number reflects the risks that drunk drivers take when traveling the road.

Legally, drunk driving refers to having a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08. With that much alcohol in the system, a driver could suffer significant impairments. A common misconception is that a person only suffers driving impairments when hitting the legal limit. In reality, a driver might be impaired at far less than the legal threshold.

Drunk driving and impairments

Drunk driving creates dangers because it affects a driver’s perceptions and reactions. A driver might not stop at a red light or look before making a lane change when their concentration lapses. The driver might not be fully aware of other vehicles on the road, and maintaining a safe speed might become challenging.

Car accidents might occur when a driver passes out at the wheel. Stopping the vehicle becomes impossible when the driver is unconscious and cannot operate the brakes.

Anyone found negligent after a drunk driving crash could face both a civil suit and criminal charges. Surviving relatives may decide to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit when the accident turns fatal.