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Understanding the impact of impaired driving on US roads

Newport drivers may be interested in some statistics regarding driving safety concerns due to impaired drivers. These issues, according to the government, lead to one person being killed on the roads every 51 minutes.

The Centers for Disease Control say that, in 2012, over 10,000 people died in car crashes involving alcohol. This number represents almost one-third of the total traffic fatalities that year. Other drug impairment made up another 18 percent of that year's fatalities.

The government agency says that younger people are the highest-risk age group for automobile fatalities, particularly those in their early 20s. On the other hand, those in their early 40s have the highest rate of impaired motorcycle fatalities. Those with prior convictions for driving under the influence were also a high-risk group.

The CDC recommends strong enforcement of blood alcohol content limitations by local authorities as well as the use of sobriety checkpoints to catch impaired drivers. For those who do drive while impaired, the CDC says that their licenses should be suspended promptly, and they should be subject to substance abuse treatment. Ignition interlocks are a solution that is shown to reduce the rate of arrests for impaired driving by 80 percent. The CDC believes that research should be conducted on the efficacy of using an even lower BAC limit of .05 percent and the implementation of mandatory blood tests when there is a car accident injury.

When a negligent or drunk driver causes a serious auto crash, the injured parties may be able to sue that driver for damages that they suffer. This could include compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering, and other personal injury damages. An attorney may be able to assist that person in filing the lawsuit and negotiating a fair settlement with the drunk driver's insurance carrier.

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