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No one should have to worry about an impaired driver causing a serious or fatal crash when driving on the I-5 or I-15, or on any other street in the San Diego area. However, driver impairment happens much more often than it should, as our San Diego car accident lawyers have seen, and it can lead to accidents in which North County residents suffer debilitating and life-threatening injuries. According to a fact sheet from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 10,327 deaths in the state of California due to impaired driving between 2003 and 2012. The majority of the individuals who suffered fatal injuries in impaired driving collisions were between the ages of 21 and 34. While California has a slightly lower percentage than the national average of adults who report driving after drinking too much (1.8% in California compared with a national average of 1.9%), impaired driving remains a serious matter throughout the state.
If you or a loved one was hurt in a car accident caused by an impaired driver, you should discuss your case with an accident attorney at Walton Law Firm to learn more about obtaining compensation.Impaired Driving in North County
How big of a problem is driver impairment in North County, including in places like Escondido, Carlsbad, and Oceanside? Before we get to the facts and figures, it is important to recognize that impaired driving can mean more than just driving under the influence of alcohol. Alcohol, prescription drugs, and illegal drugs all can be causes of impaired driving accidents. The CDC provides statistics concerning driver impairment and crash rates throughout the country:
- In 2015 alone, alcohol-impaired accident fatalities accounted for 29% of all traffic-related deaths in the country;
- 16% of all traffic collisions resulting in the death of a child between the ages of 0 and 14 involved a driver impaired by alcohol;
- 1.1 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in 2015, but the CDC reports that the arrest figure represents 1% of the approximately 111 million self-reported incidents of drunk driving;
- Drug-impaired driving (including both legal prescription drugs and illegal drugs) accidents account for about 16% of all car accidents;
- Approximately 13% of drivers have marijuana in their systems at any given point in the nighttime or on the weekend; and
- Marijuana may increase the risk of a traffic collision by about 25%.
The CDC indicates that a large percentage of drivers involved in alcohol-impaired or drug-impaired crashes will have one or more of the following risk factors:
- Age: Individuals between the ages of 21 and 24 are at the highest risk of an impaired driving accident, with the second highest risk group being individuals between the ages of 25 and 34;
- Motorcycle use: Motorcyclists account for a high percentage of all drunk driving fatalities, and about 30% of those motorcyclists have a BAC of 0.08% or higher; and
- Drivers with previous DUIs or DWIs: Drivers who previously were arrested for impaired driving are 4.5 times as likely to be involved in a fatal alcohol-impaired or drug-impaired accident.
The lawyers at Walton Law Firm have decades of experience in helping individuals injured in car accidents, including those caused by an impaired driver. Based in San Marcos, the firm represents individuals throughout San Diego County, and would be happy let you know whether your auto accident case is viable, and its general value. Consultations are always free, and home or hospital visits are never a problem for our attorneys. Call today at 760-571-5500.