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Pennsylvania Personal Injury Lawyer Reports on the Hazardous Combination of Drinking and Driving

Every day we read and watch more news reports of drunk driving accidents, many involving children in the vehicle, and a high percentage resulting in fatalities. Any crash involving a driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher is considered to be an alcohol-impaired driving crash. According to a recently released report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Impaired, there were 10,322 fatalities in alcohol-impaired crashes in 2012. 28 people die every day in America as a result of these crashes. NHTSA also reported that car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens, and about a quarter involve an underage drinker.

The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD), reported that an estimated 32% of fatal car crashes involve an intoxicated driver or pedestrian. Alcohol affects attentiveness and one’s ability to make quick decisions on the road, react to changes in the environment and execute specific maneuvers behind the wheel. When drinking alcohol, driving becomes dangerous – and is potentially lethal. Despite increased public awareness, drinking and driving continues, and it is not just with automobiles, we are seeing people operating motorcycles, boats, jet skis, snowmobiles and other vehicles while under the influence of alcohol.

The NHTSA reported that the percentage of drivers with BAC of .08 or higher in fatal crashes was highest for motorcycle riders (27%). They also reported that in 2012, 20% of traffic accident fatalities in children age 14 and younger involved alcohol-impaired drivers. Of those fatalities, 52% were occupants of a vehicle with a driver who had a BAC level of .08% or higher.

In 2012, the 21- to 24-year-old age group had the highest percentage of drivers in fatal alcohol-related crashes. Drivers with BAC of .08 or higher involved in fatal crashes were seven times more likely to have a prior conviction for driving while impaired than were drivers in fatal crashed with no alcohol. The NCADD reported that alcohol-related crashes cost American taxpayers over $100 billion.

Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer J. Christopher Munley recommends the following:

  • When drinking, choose a designated driver who is not drinking or call a taxi.
  • Don’t let your friends drive impaired. Take their keys away.
  • If you are hosting a party, remind guests to designate a sober driver, offer plenty of alcohol-free beverages, stop serving alcohol well before the party ends and arrange alternate transportation for those guests who have been drinking.
  • When driving, if you spot what you think is an impaired driver, keep a safe distance and call 9-1-1.
  • As the parent of a teen, never condone underage drinking.
  • Have a serious conversation with your teen about the dangers of drinking and driving. It is unacceptable and against the law.

If you or someone you know has been injured due to an alcohol-related crash, feel free to contact the Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys by calling 855-866-5529.

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