Drunk driving is a serious crime in the United States and has caused many unnecessary deaths for innocent individuals while traveling the roads.
If you are a survivor of a drunk driving accident, you may need help with legal matters. As you recover, you can consult a drunk driving accident lawyer for yourself or a loved one. They can inform you of your rights as a victim of a drunk-driving accident and the steps to move forward in seeking justice for your case.
The Unfortunate Statistics of Drunk Driving Accidents
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a total of 11,654 fatalities occurred due to drunk driving accidents in 2020, which was a 14% spike from the deaths that happened in 2019. These fatalities were preventable if the drunk drivers just received rides home from others or sobered up before driving.
Statistics state that about 32 people die because of drunk driving incidents in America daily. This means that one person is dying in a preventable drunk driving crash every 45 minutes.
The Steps To Follow After A Drunk Driving Accident
Once a drunk driving accident happens, you should immediately take the following steps:
- Stop your vehicle immediately. If you are severely injured, call 911.
- If you do not have any serious injuries, phone the local police department.
- While waiting for police to arrive, have your driving credentials such as license, registration, and proof of insurance available to show law enforcement upon request.
- If possible, meet with the other driver in the accident and exchange information.
- If any witnesses saw the accident (some may even come over to be sure you are okay), note their testimony and exchange phone numbers for later correspondence.
- Reveal your testimony about the accident to the police when they come over to question you.
- Depending on the time of day that the accident occurs, call your insurance company within at least 24 hours to report the incident.
If you are the sober victim and the other person is the drunk driver, it may be impossible to get some information from them, depending on how intoxicated they are. You can find any missing information on the police report that you will receive about 72 hours after the accident.
What Will the Police Do For You and the Drunk Driver?
Police will check the drunk driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) level to determine whether it is within legal or illegal limits. If the BAC exceeds the legal limit, mainly 0.08, the drunk driver will be subject to DUI charges.
Another police officer will come to get your testimony of the crash. Be as descriptive and thorough as possible. Inform them which road you were on if you were attempting to make a turn and the events leading up to the crash. If there are any witnesses on site, make sure that they talk to the police as well.
What If A Teen Driver Is Involved In a Drunk Driving Accident?
If you are a teen driver under 18, involved in a drunk driving accident, you should immediately call your parents or guardians after calling the police. A car accident can seem scary, especially if it is the first time you have experienced one.
However, you should never leave the scene of an accident, as this could be considered a hit-and-run charge. Leaving will make matters worse for you than stopping and handling the accident as it happens.
Experiencing a drunk driving accident is life-changing and can cause extreme emotional distress. If you are involved in a drunk driving accident, contact the police and remain at the crime scene so that the authorities can process the accident properly.