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Impaired driving accident facts and statistics

Kentucky residents may find some of the statistics outlined by President Donald J. Trump in a recent proclamation to be surprising. In his proclamation, President Trump declared December 2017 as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. The announcement included statistics showing that, on average, in the United States, one person dies in an alcohol-related car crash every 50 minutes. In 2016, alcohol-related accidents led to more than 10,000 fatalities, accounting for 28 percent of all traffic fatalities that year.

The sad thing about these statistics is that, for the most part, alcohol-related accidents are preventable. People have the choice to eliminate impaired driving by simply choosing not to get behind the wheel after drinking. Proof of the effectiveness of education and advocacy in reducing alcohol-related accidents can be seen when one compares alcohol-related accident rates from four decades ago to what is currently seen.

In his proclamation, the president emphasized the role that churches, community organizations, schools, and families play in reducing fatalities and accidents from impaired driving. He also discussed the role that businesses can play by creating innovative technologies and providing needed services to reduce the number of people who get behind the wheel impaired. However, at the end of the day, the responsibility for driving safely lies with each individual.

When a person chooses to get behind the wheel of his or her automobile while impaired, he or she is engaging in behavior that could be deemed negligent. A personal injury attorney could help a victim of an alcohol-related car crash or his or her family seek damages from the at-fault party. A lawyer could argue that the at-fault individual did not exercise his or her care of duty toward the victim. An attorney also could show that because the victim was intoxicated, his or her reaction time was slowed down and his or her decision-making was impaired, which, in turn, led to the accident.

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