Automobile Accidents and Drunk Driving

Automobile accidents will always be a threat and an inconvenience to drivers. The website of attorneys Habush, Habush, and Rottier S.C. ® mentions that the most common causes for car accidents are driver error, reckless driving, speeding, mechanical malfunction, and highway defects. All of these potential causes become even more liable to happen when the driver has been drinking.

According to Mothers against Drunk Driving (MADD), thus far in 2013, 40% of all traffic deaths in Texas are related to drunk driving. Additionally in 2013, Texas has spent $5.7 billion so far on drunk driving accidents. Drunken driving accidents are extremely expensive for those involved. People sustaining injuries could face hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills as well as complicated with their insurance policies.

With the intention of curbing the amount of drunken driving incidents, the country-wide initiative of “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” was launched. The program works to monitor the roads especially heavily during times and holiday seasons when people are known to drink more than usual. According to the MADD website, one of the most effective strategies for catching drunk drivers is sobriety checkpoints. Sobriety checkpoints serve as an effective preventative measure since they remove drunk drivers from the roadways before they can cause any damage.

In the recent past, devices called Ignition Interlocks were approved for use. Ignition Interlocks are often distributed to people with DUI’s. In order for a past offender they must blow into the Interlock device before their car will start. The device measures sobriety and keeps drivers off of the road if their blood alcohol level is unacceptable. In addition to the Ignition Interlock technology, two new technologies are being studied and developed in cars. One technology would be able to detect blood alcohol through the driver touching a sensor while the other would be able to isolate the air exhaled by only the driver. Both of these new technologies are exciting developments in improving roadway safety for drivers and passengers.

2012 Driving Statistics and Risks

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, in 2012 there were no deathless days of Texas roadways. A reportable accident occurred every seventy-five seconds. All drivers are at risk for being involved in automobile accidents, but according to data, young drivers are at a much higher risk of being involved in fatal accidents than any other age demographic. In Texas, drivers ranging from 18-years-old to 30-years-old are involved in the most amounts of fatal crashes. Numerous factors render this age group a high-risk to highways.

Young drivers are most likely to speed, take unnecessary risks, neglect safety precautions, and drive under the influence. However, not all accidents occur because of other drivers. The website of Pohl and Berk says that many roadway accidents occur due to motor defects and road defects. Accidents that occur because of defective car parts or roads are generally less severe than collisions, but they can still be extremely costly. Despite that, there are still cases where these kinds of accidents can be quite severe, such as a car’s brakes malfunctioning or a roadway collapsing in on itself. These kinds of accidents can be particularly frustrating, as there is almost nothing a driver could do to avoid being involved.

When driving a motorcycle, the risk for being involved in a serious injury or fatal crash multiplies exponentially. Motorcycles do not provide the obvious external protection that traditional automobiles offer. Because of the lack of protection, even small and seemingly harmless accidents can cause severe injuries to the motorcycle operator. In 2012 467 Texas motorcyclists were involved in fatal accidents. Off all of the fatal motorcycle accidents, 52% of all motorcyclists that died were not wearing helmets. Severe motorcycle accidents can lead to costly medical bills, income lost from time spent away from work, as well as strains on personal relationships.

As risky as driving can be, preventative measures are useful in avoiding being the victim of a crash or collision. According to Houston attorney Ali Mokaram’s website, safety precautions like seat belts, helmets (when applicable), vehicle inspection, and vehicle maintenance all help to keep drivers safe. In addition to these precautions, people can avoid car accidents by driving especially carefully during high traffic times like rush hour or holiday seasons.