Carter Craig, Attorneys at Law
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Drunk driving crash fatalities and their causes

Drunk driving crashes are to blame for approximately a third of all deaths relating to traffic injuries. In Virginia, as elsewhere, the motorists who are most susceptible to drunk driving crashes are drivers under 24, motorcyclists, those with prior DUI convictions and those who combine alcohol consumption with drugs or medications.

Young drivers are always at a greater risk than older adults, even when both have the same blood alcohol concentration. The reasons for this are several. Youths are more inexperienced behind the wheel, and they tend to travel in groups. Interacting with these groups makes it easier for drivers to become distracted.

One of the most common causes of drunk driving fatalities is head trauma. A driver may hit their head on the steering wheel or another hard surface. Flying debris may also cause the trauma. Another frequent cause is excessive blood loss. For example, drivers could suffer internal bleeding when their organs are impacted and damaged by the steering column or when the abdominal cavity is pierced by glass.

In Virginia, drivers who are found with a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher are guilty of drunk driving. At 0.08 percent, a driver's reaction time is considerably impaired. Intoxication additionally leads to poor judgment, depth perception and peripheral vision. Alcohol remains in the bloodstream until the liver processes it (about an ounce every hour).

Apart from any criminal charges that a drunk driver might face, he or she may face a personal injury claim from the other side in a car accident. A victim files their claim with the defendant's auto insurance company, and if they are successful, they could be awarded damages that cover their medical expenses, lost wages, vehicle repair costs, pain and suffering and other losses. It's best to file the claim with legal assistance, though. A lawyer could handle all settlement negotiations.

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