As many law enforcement officers and lawyers will tell you, drunk driving car accidents are a matter of negligence. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that in the year 2010 alone, there were 112 million reported incidences of adults getting behind the wheel after drinking too much. The CDC also tells us that alcohol-impaired drivers are behind at least one in every three reported crash deaths, and 85 percent of those drinking and driving episodes are due to binge drinking. Drunk driving is an ongoing problem here in the state of Illinois and nationwide, making it imperative now, more than ever, to inform and protect ourselves as we travel the roadways.
Who Is Usually at Fault?
When we think of drunk drivers behind the wheel, we may immediately picture young, underage teens who have access to alcohol at parties or those who struggle with alcoholism. While it is true that these are common scenarios for drunk driving accidents, the reality is anyone and everyone is at risk for making the wrong decision to drink and then drive. It is very common for even the most responsible driver to make one poor decision to get behind the wheel after they have had too much. The decision to drive intoxicated is an isolated one for some, while it may be an ongoing problem for others. Whatever the case, the CDC reports that there are certain groups of people who are more likely to get behind the wheel intoxicated, including the following:
- Men, in general, are often found to be responsible for drinking and driving incidences. In a study done in 2010, men were found to be responsible for four out of five episodes, or 81 percent of all cases that year.
- More specifically, young men between the ages of 21 and 34 were responsible for 32 percent of all drunk driving cases during the same year.
- Binge drinkers are often at fault for a majority of alcohol-impaired car accidents. The aforementioned 85 percent of drunk driving episodes that were attributed to binge drinking involved men who consumed five or more drinks in a short period of time or women who consumed four or more drinks in a short period of time.
Your Best Defense
The very best way for you to protect yourself and your fellow passengers while operating your vehicle is to use seat belts every time you hit the road. By doing so, you can reduce the chance of serious injury and fatality by nearly 50 percent. It is also helpful to learn the signs of drowsy driving so you may remain alert and vigilant to them as you share the roadways. The moment you spot someone swerving, driving erratically, or jumping speeds, create distance between you and the suspicious driver, and pull over and report the incident to authorities if you suspect you or someone else is in danger.
Drunk driving will continue to be a danger on the roadways, but we can all do our part to stay safe and help others do the same. If you or someone you know has been seriously injured due to a drunk driving collision, speak with a skilled Lake County drunk driving accident attorney right away to protect yourself or someone you love in a court of law. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Call Salvi & Maher, LLC at 847-662-3303 to request a special consultation.