The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently issued a press release notifying motorists to drive sober for the upcoming Labor Day weekend and all year long. The 2014 campaign is focused on the societal and economic impact of drunk driving as well as the personal costs and human toll of impaired driving.
Across the United States, drunk driving collisions kill more than 10,000 people each year. Over the course of holiday weekends alcohol-related crashes are known to increase. During Labor Day weekend in 2012, 147 people were killed in auto accidents involving drunk drivers. For every DUI crash, one in three results in a fatality. What this means is that one third of all collisions are entirely preventable.
The economic impacts of driving under the influence cost Americans billions of dollars every single year. Car and motorcycle accidents involving alcohol impaired drivers cost 47 billion in direct economic impacts in 2010. Across the U.S., that averages to about $152 a person. When the overall harm to society due to loss of life and diminished quality of life are tacked on, the numbers skyrocket to $195 billion.
The average cost of a minor injury associated with a DUI-related motor vehicle crash is $22,000, but can total more than $25,000 when losses related to quality of life are added in. Direct economic impacts and additional quality-of-life costs can drastically increase based on the severity of the injury.
Now that we have addressed some of the shocking figures associated with DUIs, our Florida Personal Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton want to make sure you enjoy Labor Day weekend and map out a plan before the party starts. Planning ahead is absolutely necessary to ensure that you have a safe ride home, should you consume any amount of alcohol. Planning ahead can be as simple as programming a taxi cab’s phone number into your phone or downloading a rideshare app onto your smartphone. No matter where you end up or what you are doing, never get behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated. Ask a friend or bartender to help you find a safe ride home.
If you or a loved one is injured in a car accident this Labor Day weekend, seek medical help first and then call us at 866-608-5529. We can begin helping you with your injury claim right away. From all of us at Whittel & Melton, we wish you a safe and happy holiday weekend.