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The deadly epidemic of impaired driving in the United States

With the last holiday of the summer, Labor Day, approaching quickly, now is a good time to take a look at the deadly effects of drunk driving in the United States and how it affects millions of Americans each year. A look at statistics provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding impaired driving shows some very disturbing facts about the problem.

In 2015, there were over 10,000 deaths as a result of drunk driving. This amounts to nearly one-third of all deaths on the roads in the United States. In the same year, there were almost 1.1 million drivers arrested for driving under the influence of either alcohol or drugs. Since several states have begun to legalize marijuana, combined with the opioid epidemic in the United States, it is important to recognize that driving under the influence includes not only drunk drivers, but drivers under the influence of drugs. Professional golfer Tiger Woods, for example, made national headlines a few months ago after being arrested while driving under the influence of prescription drugs.

Approximately 16 percent of all motor vehicle accidents involved at least one driver who was under the influence of drugs, either legal or illegal. It is believed that as many as 13 percent of weekend nighttime drivers have marijuana in their system. Marijuana users are believed to be 25 percent more likely to be involved in an accident than drivers with no drugs or alcohol in their system.

If you have suffered serious injuries as a result of an alcohol-related accident, you may want to get more information about legal options concerning drunk driving accidents. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. This could include not only lost wages and medical costs, but pain and suffering as well.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Impaired Driving: Get the Facts," Accessed Aug. 14, 2017

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