One of the top safety concerns on Pennsylvania’s roadways is drinking and driving. Despite all the stepped-up enforcement and awareness campaigns of recent years, alcohol-related crashes are still at unacceptable levels. In fact, there were 7,700 crashes related to alcohol in 2020 alone, which averages around 21 devastating DUI crashes per day. Of those, 293 were fatal. And even though alcohol was a factor in only around 7 percent of the total crashes on Pennsylvania’s roadways in 2020, 26 percent of all fatalities occurred as a result of these crashes.
When alcohol is involved in a car crash, the occupants and drivers of vehicles in the crash are 4.3 times as likely to die from their injuries as opposed to crashes where alcohol is not a factor. Passengers and drivers are not the only victims of DUI crashes. Pedestrians and others on the roadway are also subject to become hurt during a crash.
Across the country, the picture is not much better. Around 28 people die daily from drunk-driving crashes, which amounts to one person every 52 minutes or so. Sadly, all deaths related to DUI driving are preventable.
How Alcohol Impairs Drivers
Alcohol has predictable effects on motorists’ ability to operate their vehicles. Alcohol can result in:
- Declining visual functions
- Reduced ability to perform simultaneous tasks
- Reduction in coordination
- Difficulty steering
- Reduced concentration
- Short-term loss of memory
- Reduced ability to brake
- Impairment in controlling vehicle
- Minimal processing of visual and auditory info needed to drive
Although there are stiff penalties for drunk driving in the state of Pennsylvania, people continue to offend—and many of them re-offend over and over again.
Compensation for DUI Accident Injuries
Injured parties and the families of those injured or killed by drunk drivers have legal options available to them. Injured victims may be entitled to be compensated for their losses, which may include current and future medical costs, lost income now and in the future, and pain and suffering. If your injuries are permanent or make you disabled, your awards may be enhanced even further.
For families whose loved ones passed away due to the negligence of a drunk driver, a wrongful death claim is a viable route for collecting compensation for loss of companionship, loss of support, hospital and medical bills, funeral costs, and more.