Although drunk driving-related deaths have decreased over the past three decades, they still claim more than 10,000 lives per year — and account for about 29 percent of all traffic fatalities in the United States. In 2017, approximately 220 children died in drunk driving crashes. More than half of them were passengers in a car with a drunk driver.
How prevalent is drugged driving?
In addition to drunk driving, many people are getting behind the wheel after using prescription or over-the-counter medications. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) warns that impaired driving is not only illegal but can put lives at risk.
In order to counter this problem, the NHTSA is working to bring awareness to all drivers regarding the dangers of impaired driving.
“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 NHTSA Deputy Administrator Heidi King.
The NHTSA identifies the ways drug impairment can contribute to the likelihood of a crash:
- Delays in reaction time, as well as impaired judgment and coordination
- Aggressive, reckless, and risky behavior
- Dizziness, drowsiness, and confusion
- Amplified impairment from mixing drugs
Prevention is possible
In order to reduce the risk of impaired driving, the NHTSA says to do the following:
- If you're going to consume alcohol, make sure you plan on having a designated driver or taking an Uber home.
- Prescription meds and marijuana can cause impairment just like alcohol. If you use either, do not get behind the wheel.
- If you see a drunk or drug-impaired driver on the road, make sure you pull over and call 911 immediately.
- If a friend or relative intends to drive impaired, be sure to intervene and arrange for safer transportation.
Police in the Seattle area will always be out in full force looking for impaired drivers. Many drivers who get behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs will likely go under the radar until their actions cause a serious crash, however.
In the event you or a loved one is hurt in a crash with an impaired driver, get immediate medical attention and speak to an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible. Nelson Langer Engle, PLLC fight for the rights of injured motorists in the greater Seattle area. We have a proven track record of helping injured motorists recover medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
Contact us online today to schedule your free consultation.