Car accidents are a significant cause of death and injury across the nation. Annually, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducts extensive research into accidents and their causes. This information is then used to promote safety. The NHTSA’s research shows, among other things, the negative effects of impaired driving and the positive effects of seatbelt usage.
The role of alcohol
Like all other states, Florida prohibits driving with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of o.08 grams of more per deciliter. However, this does not always deter people from drinking and driving. Unfortunately, when a driver is impaired, innocent people may suffer. Most drunk driving accidents victims are not drunk drivers themselves, but rather passengers or bystanders.
Alcohol-impaired accidents resulted in 10,228 fatalities in the United States in 2010. This is a slight decrease from 2009’s total of 10, 759. Still, on average, a person died in a drunk driving accident every 51 minutes in 2010.
Nationwide, 32,885 people died in motor vehicle accidents in 2010. Florida has more traffic fatalities than any other state, with the exception of Texas and California. In 27% of fatal Florida accidents, the driver had a BAC above the legal 0.08 level.
Advantages of using safety equipment
Unfortunately, it is not impossible to always avoid drunk drivers. However, drivers and passengers can improve their chances of avoiding death by wearing seatbelts and making sure their vehicles are equipped with airbags.
Since 1975, the NHTSA has shown the effectiveness of seatbelts. They estimate that seatbelts saved 12,546 lives in 2010. Additionally, from 2006 to 2010, seatbelts saved 69,000 lives. If everyone used seatbelts, the NTHSA estimates that 3,341 additional people would survive.
In Florida, seatbelts saved 769 people over the age of 5. Child would have saved an additional 11% of children under 5. If everyone in Florida buckled up, hundreds of people wouldn’t die in car accidents.
Driving with an illegally high blood alcohol level is irresponsible. Anyone who is hurt by a drunk driver has grounds to pursue a claim for medical expenses or lost wages. It is also possible to obtain compensation for pain and suffering due to the accident. Families who have lost a loved one in a fatal crash can look into filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
Injured persons will benefit from seeking the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney will provide expert advocacy and work for a just resolution.