Drunk driving is always a big risk to motorists in Dallas, Arlington, Fort Worth, TX and surrounding areas. Unfortunately, the holidays are one of the riskiest times on the road. Both the period surrounding Christmas and New Years see a significant increase in the number of crashes caused by impaired driving.
Any drunk driver is dangerous, but commercial drivers who have had too much to drink can present a special risk on the roads because of the large size of their vehicles. A truck accident lawyer can help those who have been harmed in a collision with an impaired driver, and an attorney can also provide assistance to motorists involved in a crash with a tractor-trailer or other commercial vehicle.
Drunk Driving Accident Risks Over the Holiday Season
Over the course of 2010, around 31 percent of all motor vehicle accidents involved an impaired driver according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. The percentage of accidents involving alcohol was significantly higher both in the days around Christmas and the days around New Years.
Christmas was defined as Christmas Eve, the holiday itself and the holiday weekend. Over Christmas, 37 percent of fatal accidents involved an intoxicated driver. New Years also includes New Years Eve, the holiday itself and the holiday weekend. Over New Years, 48 percent of crashes involved a driver who had too much to drink.
The death toll goes up with more drunk drivers on the road. In 2010, 143 people died in fatal car accidents on New Years Eve and 96 died in Christmas crashes. In 2009, there were 185 New Years drunk driving deaths and 95 Christmas fatalities. In 2008, a total of 175 people lost their lives in crashes with impaired drivers and 138 people were killed over Christmas.
Driving impaired becomes dangerous even below the legal limit of .08. In fact, some safety advocates believe that the legal limit should be reduced down to .05 because people with this level of alcohol in their systems already begin to show signs of impairment like impaired judgment and delayed reaction time. For commercial drivers, the permissible blood alcohol concentration limit is lower than for the average public. Commercial drivers are not allowed to drive if their BAC is .04 or higher. The lower blood alcohol content reflects the fact that it would be much more dangerous for a trucker to operate a vehicle intoxicated. This is because of the added size of a commercial truck as well as because of the added complexity of operating such a large vehicle.
Ten Four Magazine indicates that around one in eight fatal accidents involves a truck. These accidents have many potential causes, including drunk and impaired A report from Reuters indicates that drug and alcohol use is an especially significant problem among commercial truckers. While the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) told Reuters that positive rates for drug and alcohol tests for drivers is as low as one percent, other studies have showed the rates of positive alcohol tests as high as 12.5 percent. The problem may be worse around the holidays as truckers are pressured to get in long hours due to holiday deliveries.
The bottom line is, no one should be drinking and driving over the holidays, especially not truckers. MADD has organized a "Tie One On for Safety" campaign encouraging motorists to put a red ribbon on their car as a reminder of the importance of staying sober this season.
If you or a loved one has been injured contact Coby L. Wooten, Attorney at Law, P.C. at 800-994-1966 or visit http://www.cobywootenlaw.com. Serving Dallas, Arlington, Fort Worth, TX and surrounding areas.