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Facts on impaired driving

Kentucky drivers should be thoroughly aware of the dangers of intoxication and driving while impaired by drugs. In the United States, nearly 30 people die every day from accidents related to alcohol impairment. The annual toll of these accidents reaches more than $59 billion.

Approximately one out of every three automobile fatalities in America is related to an intoxicated driver impaired by excessive alcohol consumption. In about 18 percent of traffic fatalities, there are drugs besides alcohol involved. Cocaine and marijuana are two examples of drugs commonly found with traffic fatalities. However, alcohol is still involved in conjunction with other drugs in a significant number of accidents.

Recent studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicate that the average cost of each intoxication-related traffic fatality is $3.5 million. This includes $1.1 million in direct monetary costs and $2.4 million in lost quality of life among all affected individuals. The average injury costs almost $100,000 with the amount evenly divided between quality of life damages and monetary cost.

Automobile accidents that are caused by another driver's careless actions, malfeasance or negligence can result in compensatory awards to the injured parties if a civil claim is filed. An attorney at law may be able to help the people seeking redress file the requisite civil suits necessary. The attorney may also be able to help to negotiate directly with the defendants. The plaintiff might choose to seek punitive damages in cases where the responsible driver acted with outrageously irresponsible or illegal behavior such as consuming an excessive amount of alcohol or drugs before driving.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Impaired Driving: Get the Facts", December 30, 2014

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