According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 10,497 alcohol-related fatalities occurred on the roads in 2016. This is nearly 30 percent of all motor vehicle deaths in the United States. The numbers have remained fairly average each year. Below, we have listed the 7 top reasons why drunk driving is such a serious traffic offense.
#1: Many of the Victims Are Children
Any time that you have young innocent victims of an unsafe practice, those who commit the offenses are hard to defend. The statistics show that 17 percent of the drunk drivers involved in fatal accidents are under 21. Even more troubling, 17 percent of all traffic accidents that kill children aged 0 to 14 involve a drunk driver. When you consider the devastating long-term impact on families of these children losing their closest and most intimate kin, there is nothing in the world to excuse the reckless practice of driving drunk. A mother or father may feel no greater love in their life than they do for a young innocent child and can suffer eternal heartbreak when they are killed.
#2: The Accidents Are Easily Preventable
When you consider the easy alternatives to drunk driving, there is really no excuse for taking the risk. Drunks can wait a few hours to sober up, ask someone for a ride, call for a cab, walk home (in many cases), or even use a ride-sharing app like Uber or Lyft. Furthermore, there are inexpensive breathalyzers available on the market for drivers who don’t feel intoxicated to test their alcohol levels. When you consider the high potential for lost lives and the serious consequences of a drunk driving accident, our culture must emphasize the seriousness of such offenses and take steps to prevent the harm.
#3: Expensive Property Damage
Drunk driving accidents are not like fender-benders. Most drunk driving accidents are fairly serious and inflict substantial damage to property. Two or more vehicles are usually damaged in drunk driving accidents. Other damage may occur to homes, public property, fences, bushes, trees, and other infrastructure. The extent of property damage is usually serious because drunk drivers have grossly impaired motor skills that make it hard to even mitigate an accident as the scene is unfolding.
#4: Danger to Pedestrians
It is not just other drivers who are at risk. The statistics demonstrate that 5,987 pedestrians were killed in US traffic accidents in 2016. And nearly half of those deaths were due to drunk drivers.
#5: Drunk Drivers Usually Survive
The irony of the matter is that drunk drivers usually survive even serious car accidents. This is because the alcohol loosens their muscles, which allows them to roll with the punches and absorb the impact better than sober victims who brace against the impact. For this reason, the penalties have to be serious. If a drunk driver doesn’t learn their lesson, they may find themselves causing even more accidents in the future.
#6: Alcohol May Not Be the Only Factor
Alcohol is a major risk factor but can be enhanced by many other elements such as bad road conditions, distracted driving, poor condition of motor vehicle, and unsafe driving habits such as speeding and rolling stops. When you consider the ability of alcohol to exponentially increase the risks of an accident when combined with other safety hazards, it only makes sense to crack down on drunk driving with hypervigilism.
#7: Advertising Countereffects
The goal of advertisers is to make drinking a carefree social activity. This can lead people to ignore the rules if the consequences aren’t grave. Because alcohol advertising embodies a party culture and does not like to focus on the health and accident risks, there has to be a sober counterbalance to remind people that having fun has its limits.
Contact Sunshine Coast CNG Law if you were a victim of a drunk driver. Our law firm will fight to ensure that you are fully compensated and that the plaintiffs learn a lifelong lesson. This will help to prevent accidents like this from hurting others in the future and helps you go on with your life. Only time can heal the wounds, but we can help secure the financial compensation to make healing possible.