According to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of teenage drivers in the United States who report having driven under the influence has declined dramatically in the past twenty years. In 1991, slightly more than 22% of American teenagers reported having engaged in drunk driving. In 2011, that number was just above 10%.
The report attributed this decline to a range of different factors, including growing public awareness of the impact that drunk driving can have on the lives of others, stricter new laws that provide penalties for teen drivers with any amount of alcohol in their system, and an overall decline in the percentage of teens driving on the road. Overall, these factors have helped to make our nation’s roads safer and prevented teen drivers from engaging in dangerous behavior that endangers both their own lives and the lives of others.
However, the report contains another piece of information which serves as a reminder of the continuing risks that drunk driving poses to all of us: while the decline considerably reduced the number of teenage drunk drivers on the road, more than one million teens in the U.S. still reported consuming alcohol before driving in 2011. One million teenage drunk drivers on the road is, without question, a serious risk to public safety.
Nationally, around one-third of all traffic fatalities are later shown to have been alcohol-related. Additionally, a significant number of further accidents involving alcohol which don’t result in fatality nevertheless leave those who are injured in the accident suffering from life-altering injuries and struggling to deal with the consequences. Costly medical bills, reduced income earning potential, and loss of companionship are all issues that drunk driving accident victims commonly have to deal with.
Because of the considerable impact that a drunk driving accident can have on a person’s life, those who have been injured as the result of a drunk drivers irresponsible behavior may be entitled to seek compensation for their losses. With the help of a qualified personal injury lawyer, injury victims may be able to recover most of the financial losses they may have incurred.