We conclude our series of blogs encouraging Carolina motorists to get serious about safe driving in 2011, with our final topic, drunk driving.
Our North Carolina car accident attorneys have focused on areas of defensive driving they deem most important. Other topics found in the series are speeding, distracted driving, running red lights at intersections, inclement weather, aggressive driving, and drowsy driving.
In 2009, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 10,839 people died in alcohol related crashes. This equates to 32% of the total traffic fatalities for the year.
Sadly, 1,314 children ages 14 and younger died in traffic crashes. In 14% of the cases for this age group, alcohol was involved. It is 4 times more likely that an alcohol impaired driver will have a crash at night. In 35% of fatal alcohol crashes the driver was 21 to 24 years old. Last year in North Carolina there were 1,314 fatal crashes with 363 crashes involving a driver with a Blood Alcohol Content testing at .08 to .14 according to the NHTSA.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving ranks North Carolina as the 10th safest state involving drunk driving incidents. North Carolina is one state that only requires mandatory ignition interlock for DUI offenders that tested for a BAC of .15 or higher. MADD is currently working in North Carolina to introduce and pass through legislation mandatory ignition interlock devices for DUI offenders with a BAC of .08 which matches the standard held for most states.
In the article, 70 Rules of Defensive Driving by Road Trip America it states if we all did the following no one would get killed in traffic crashes: pay attention, not speed, wear seatbelts and not drive while impaired.
Mixing alcohol and driving is extremely dangerous because it slows down your motor skills and thought processes. This, as a result directly affects your reaction time.
Drivers should use the following safety tips:
-KNow how you are getting home prior to going out if you plan to go out drinking.
-After you start drinking is not the time to make your plan.
-A designated driver should volunteer to come along with you when attending parties or celebrations where heavy drinking is involved. Another alternative is to have arrangements made with a friend who will come and get you when you are ready to come home.
-Use public transportation but make sure you know the schedules so you avoid getting stranded while under the influence.
-Keep the phone number of a designated driver service with you. Some services will provide you a ride home usually free of charge or for a small donation.
If you or someone you know have been injured in a car accident in North Carolina, rely on the Law Offices of Lee & Smith for expert advice. Call for a free initial consultation at 800-887-1965.