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Impaired driving injuries and fatalities

While many New Jersey drivers know that impaired driving is a big problem, they may not understand just how many people impaired driving kills or injures every day. Across the nation, almost 30 people die every day in crashes involving an impaired driver. That amounts to approximately one person every 51 minutes.

Fatalities associated with impaired drivers accounted for approximately 31 percent of all traffic-related deaths in the United States in 2012. Of the total 10,322 people who died, 239 individuals were reportedly ages 14 and younger. Over half of these children were riding in the vehicle with the impaired driver.

There are certain portions of the population who are more at risk for impaired driving. For example, younger individuals are more likely to become involved in an accident while impaired than older individuals. Additionally, among drivers with blood alcohol concentration levels of .08 percent or higher who were involved in fatal crashes in 2012, 32 percent were between ages 21 and 24. For alcohol-impaired motorcyclists, approximately half of those killed in crashes each year is over the age of 40. Likewise, 29 percent of motorcyclists who were killed in a crashes in 2012 had a blood alcohol concentration of at least .08 percent.

Even with the available data, many drivers still continue to operate vehicles while impaired. In fact, of the approximately 112 million self-reported incidents of drunk driving in 2010, about 1.4 million drivers were taken into custody. Because the problem is so widespread, a sober driver or passenger is likely to become involved in a car accident with an impaired driver. If they suffer injuries as a result of the crash, they may be eligible to file a personal injury claim, which may hold the impaired driver responsible for the losses that were incurred due to the injuries.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Impaired Driving: Get the Facts," Accessed March 5, 2015

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