Being involved in a car accident is never a pleasant experience—especially if that accident resulted in injuries to yourself or a loved one. However, when an accident is caused by another motorist's reckless decision to drink and drive, in addition to physical pain and suffering, crash victims can find themselves grappling with feelings of anger, confusion, frustration, and helplessness.
Despite these feelings, accident victims are far from helpless. Delaware law gives victims the right to take legal action against drunk drivers whose negligence results in accidents and injuries. If you were injured or lost a loved one in a driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI) accident, you may be eligible for compensation for damages.
Drunk Driving Statistics
Safety organizations such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have spent decades communicating the risks of drunk driving to the public. Despite their best efforts, an alarming number of Americans continue to put their lives, and the lives of others, in serious jeopardy by drinking and driving. These frightening statistics paint a clear picture of the consequences of driving while intoxicated:
- In the United States, a person is injured in a drunk driving-related accident every 90 seconds.
- Someone is killed in a DWI or DUI accident every 51 minutes in the United States; this adds up to approximately 28 alcohol-related crash deaths per day.
- Americans have a one in three chance of being involved in a drunk driving-related crash in their lifetime.
- Drunk driving deaths increased to 10,265 in 2015—up from 9,967 deaths in 2014 and 10,076 deaths in 2013.
- In the United States, the economic cost of drunk driving is approximately $200 billion per year, which costs each American adult between $500 and $800 annually.
- American motorists admit to approximately 121 million drunk driving episodes per year.
- On an average day, approximately 300,000 people drive under the influence of alcohol, but fewer than 4,000 are arrested for it.
- Statistically, drunk drivers drive under the influence approximately 80 times before their first DWI or DUI arrest.
- Men are more likely to drink and drive than women (15.1 percent vs. 7.9 percent); in 2014, three times as many men were arrested for drunk driving than women.
- Drunk driving accidents are more likely to happen at night and on the weekends.
DWI and DUI Damages
People who are involved in DWI and DUI accidents often experience a number of damages, including serious injuries that require extensive and costly medical treatment, property damages to the vehicle they were driving, emotional or mental trauma, lost wages, permanent disability, and the wrongful death of loved ones. Personal injury attorneys with experience handling car accident cases can help accident victims pursue compensation for these and other damages.
How to Spot a Drunk Driver
Knowing how to spot a drunk driver may help you and your family avoid potential tragedy. Law enforcement and safety experts recommend watching for these telltale signs:
- Weaving through traffic and across lanes
- Straddling the center line
- Drifting toward the shoulder
- Swerving or turning abruptly
- Making wide turns
- Difficulty stopping appropriately
- Sudden acceleration or deceleration without reason
- Speeding or failing to maintain a consistent speed
- Driving 10 or more miles per hour below the speed limit
- Driving the wrong way or direction
- Delayed responses to traffic signals
- Sudden stops for no apparent reason
- Using the wrong turn signal
- Driving in the dark without their headlights
- Making illegal turns or driving in the wrong lane
- Making erratic lane changes
- Driving off the road
Were You Injured in a DWI or DUI Accident?
The experienced attorneys with the Morris James Personal Injury Group have represented numerous clients who were harmed by the negligence of intoxicated drivers. Contact the Morris James Personal Injury Group today to schedule a free, no-obligation analysis of your DWI or DUI car accident case.