Many Virginia residents have been or known someone who has been the victim of an automobile accident connected to driving under the influence. It is not uncommon for the impaired individual who provoked the accident to walk away from the accident with fewer injuries than the victims, whether they are occupants of the other vehicle or pedestrians.
In the past four decades, there has been a reduction in the percentage of traffic fatalities where alcohol use was a factor. However, over the last two years, this trend seems to be changing. It is estimated that in 2016, 28 percent of traffic fatalities, amounting to 10,000 incidents, were linked to alcohol. It is chilling to contemplate the effect that impaired driving has had on so many victims and their families.
Recently, the White House proclaimed December 2017 as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. One of the goals of this proclamation was to increase awareness about the dangers of driving while impaired. Emphasis was put on the fact that each driver must take responsibility for themselves.
Reports show that in 2012, 4.2 million adults admitted to operating a motor vehicle while they were impaired by alcohol within a 30-day period. The real possibility existed that each one of these drivers could have caused an accident that irrevocably changed the life of their victims.
If a person was the victim of an automobile accident caused by a driver who was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they may be entitled to compensation. A personal injury attorney might argue that the motorist would have had time to react and avoid an accident if they were not intoxicated. The personal injury lawyer may try to show that the impaired motorist failed to exercise duty of care toward their victim.