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Some statistics about impaired driving

Road users in North Carolina may be unaware of the number of fatalities that alcohol-impaired driving causes. Traffic accidents involving alcohol-impaired drivers cause the deaths of nearly 30 people every day across the nation. This equates to one person dying in an alcohol-related crash every 51 minutes.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics show that 10,322 people died in alcohol-related accidents in 2012. This figure represents 31 percent of all road collision fatalities in the country in that year. Drugs such as cocaine and marijuana were involved in around 18 percent of the traffic crash deaths, but these and other drugs are often used with alcohol. There were 1,168 children under the age of 15 killed in car accidents in 2012, and 239 of them died in crashes that involved a drunk driver. Also, among those 239 child fatalities, 124 of them were riding with the drunk driver.

Motorcyclists, young drivers and drivers with prior impaired driving convictions are the most at risk. Motorcyclists between the ages of 40 and 44 are at the highest risk of fatality when they drink and drive. Young people between the ages of 21 and 24 are the most likely to be involved in fatal car accidents while they are driving under the influence of alcohol. Alcohol-impaired drivers involved in accidents causing death are seven times as likely to have prior convictions for DWI than drivers who do not drink and drive.

When a drunk driving accident causes injuries, whether or not the injuries are fatal, the victims might receive compensation through the filing of personal injury lawsuits. The victims may speak to lawyers about the options that are available for seeking the recovery of financial damages. The damages recovered could include medical bills and lost pay from being absent from work.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Impaired Driving - Get the Facts", accessed on Jan. 26, 2015

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