Have you been injured or lost a loved one in a crash in which the other driver was drunk or otherwise impaired?
Join the club. Alcohol is a factor in 29 percent of all highway fatalities (2015). An additional 16 percent of deaths involve other drugs, such as marijuana and cocaine. [National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Traffic Safety Facts]
Drivers themselves admit to driving drunk – 111 million concede that they do it. So, if over 1 million are arrested every year, that means only 1 percent are caught. [Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report]
Among all drivers on the road at any time, 6 percent are high on marijuana. But after dark, and on weekend, that number rises to 13 percent. [NHTSA]
Think about that the next time you are in traffic. We count on other drivers being rational and in control. Many of them are not.
Pot-smokers like to think they are good drivers because they are being very careful. Statistics do not bear that out. The truth is, they are 25 percent more likely to be in a crash than non-high drivers. [NHTSA]
How about this: The typical drunk driver has driver drunk 80 times before being pulled over for the first time. [FBI Arrest Data]
What do the numbers mean?
You already knew all this, intuitively. American drink and then get behind the wheel. It’s what people do. They put their freedom to have a good time and express their individuality above the safety of other people on the road. That is the core reason behind our nation’s staggering injury and mortality figures.
Until the nation gets serious about changing this mindset, it is up to individuals like yourself, who have suffered injury due to someone else’s alcohol-spiked carelessness, to put your foot down and demand maximum compensation, plus punitive damages on top of that.
Attorney Matthew E. Bennett of Silver Springs fights to protect the rights of the injured.