Drunk Driving Collision Prevention Year-Around Effort in Hartford

Sep 2014

Drunk driving has a tremendous cost to individuals and to society. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) has published a report about the societal costs of impaired driving. A personal injury lawyer knows more than 10,000 people die each year due to impaired driving, and the cost of these losses to the grieving family members left behind is not measurable in dollars. In just the state of Connecticut alone, 85 people lost their lives in 2012 according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

Measuring The Costs of Impaired Driving

According to the NHTSA, the direct financial costs of impaired driving totaled at $47 billion in economic loss in 2010. At this amount, this means that the costs of drunk driving were $152 per person in the United States. Once loss of life and lost qualify of life was factored in, the costs of impaired driving reached $195 billion per year.

Each individual person or family affected by an accident has costs to pay. For a minor injury caused by a driver with a blood-alcohol content of .08, the average cost in actual economic loss is $22,000. There are also additional losses associated with impaired quality of life, which reach a total of $25,000.

For individuals who suffer catastrophic injuries as a result of an impaired driving crash, the economic losses from the injuries can reach $1.1 million and loss of quality of life may be as much as $5 million.

The people who face these costs are often innocent victims who did not make the choice to drive drunk. In 35 percent of collisions with impaired drivers, the victims are non-occupants of motor vehicles (like bike riders or walkers) or are either passengers in the drunk driver’s car or other motorists on the road.

Protecting the public and preventing collisions is a top goal for the NHTSA. One recent campaign was organized by the NHTSA and involved more than 10,000 police departments throughout the country. The campaign was called Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over and it ran from August 15 through Labor Day weekend. It included both added enforcement as well as educational efforts like commercials warning the public about drunk driving.

Although the campaign is over now, enforcement efforts have not stopped and drivers need to continue to follow the laws prohibiting impaired driving. It is very clear that driving while impaired significantly increases the risk of collisions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention summarize the impacts of alcohol on the body, which start with a blood-alcohol concentration of just .02 percent.

At a BAC of .02, you may have impaired judgment, more difficulty multi-tasking and reduced visual function. At a BAC of .05, your small muscle control will not be as good as when you are sober and you will also have impaired judgment and lowered levels of alertness. Difficulty steering your vehicle and a reduced ability to respond in an emergency can occur. All of this happens even before you reach the legal limit of .08. Once you have consumed enough alcohol that your BAC has reached .08, you have myriad problems, including impaired perception, and a reduced ability to control your speed or process information. You are a danger to yourself and others if you have consumed this much alcohol and you could be responsible for causing a collision.

Contact a Hartford, CT accident attorney today at the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone & Morelli. Calling 1-800-WIN-WIN-1 for your free case consultation or visit http://www.salomoneandmorelli.com

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