New statistics illustrate that there was a near 5 percent decrease in the number of alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities from 2009 to 2010.
Unfortunately, there was also a decrease in the total number of vehicle miles driven during this time too, illustrating that the risks are just about the same.
According to the most recent release from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were close to 10,250 people who were killed in alcohol-related traffic accidents in Highland and elsewhere. Experts have concluded that someone was killed in one of these accidents every 51 minutes throughout the year. What's most alarming is that all of these fatalities could have been prevented. Drunk driving is 100 percent avoidable!
Our Highland injury lawyers understand that there roughly 220 people who were killed in alcohol-related car accidents in the state of Indiana in 2010. These accidents accounted for about 30 percent of all of the traffic-related fatalities in the state for the entire year. About 195 of these people were killed in car accidents that involved a driver who was legally drunk behind the wheel, or returned a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) reading of 0.08 or higher.
In most of these accidents, it's the intoxicated drivers who are killed, but it's important to point out that many others are killed and injured, too. In 2010, more than 6,630 of the people who died were the drunk drivers, more than 2,870 were motor vehicle occupants and another 730 were nonoccupants. Drivers and other travelers along our roadways are asked to be careful out there and to be mindful of the driving of others. Practice your most defensive driving habits every time you're behind the wheel to help to keep yourself out of a potentially fatal accident.
To make these matters even worse, about 1,200 people who were killed in these kinds of accidents were kids who were 14-years-old or younger.
Travelers are asked to be extremely cautious during the evening hours and during the weekends. These are the times when we typically see higher numbers of these types of accidents.
To help you to avoid one of these accidents, the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute's Traffic Safety Division offers these safety tips:
-Plan ahead. If you're going to be out drinking, be sure to designate a sober driver before starting your evening. Give that person your keys.
-If you're impaired, call a taxi, use public transit or call a sober friend or family member to come get you. Keep driving out of the mix. You should never consider getting behind the wheel, no matter how little you think you've had.
-Stay the night at a friend or a family member's house.
-Be sure to report any driver that you suspect is drunk to local authorities. Reporting these drivers can help to save lives.
-Always wear your seat belt. This is probably your best defense against an drunk driver.
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a car accident, contact Highland Injury Lawyers Burton A. Padove to schedule a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 219-836-2200.
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