Driving on Texas roadways can be incredibly dangerous. In fact, the Texas Department of Transportation estimated that between 2010 and 2018, more people died on Texas roadways than in any other state. In addition to being the state with the most traffic fatalities, Texas also had the highest number of drunk driving fatalities.
According to a study by Safe Smart Living, Texas is home to the highest number of drunk driving fatalities in the country, and ranks among the top five most dangerous states for driving under the influence (DUI). The study used data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) 2017 Alcohol-Impaired Driving Report and calculated the number of DUI fatalities in each state. In Texas, roadway fatalities totaled over 3,000; and, 1,468 of them involved drunk driving.
On average, fatal drunk driving accidents most commonly involve people ages 21 to 24 and involve men four times more often than women. According to NHTSA, over half of DUI related fatal crashes happen at night in urban areas. When a person drives under the influence of alcohol or other substances, they are putting other drivers and passengers at an increased risk for an accident. Drunk driving accidents are often incredibly devastating and can result in critical injuries or even death.
Why Intoxication Makes Drunk Driving Accidents So Deadly
Drunk driving accidents can be particularly devastating due to the intoxication of the driver. When a driver is intoxicated, they have very little control over their actions. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that slows brain function while also impairing decision-making and muscle coordination. All of these functions are vital to driving.
Alcohol has a compounding effect on the body, meaning the more alcohol you drink, the more intoxicated you become over time. Because of this, a driver may not even realize how intoxicated they are until an hour or so after consuming the drinks
Texas Drunk Driving Accident Injuries
When one is involved in a roadway crash, injuries can range from minor to catastrophic. These injuries can affect multiple parts of the body at once. Some of the most common injuries sustained in drunk driving accidents include:
- Spinal injuries: Injuries to the spinal cord can be particularly devastating. Partial or complete paralysis can occur after a spinal injury. In addition to this, an injury to the back can cause discs in the spine to slip or rupture, leading to nerve damage.
- Neck injuries: Injuries to the neck after a drunk driving accident are fairly common, as the neck is often vulnerable when a car crash occurs. While whiplash is the most widely reported motor vehicle accident injury, other neck injuries can be far more serious. The impact of a collision can crush the trachea or damage the larynx, which can cause permanent difficulties related to eating, breathing, and moving.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI): Brain injuries can occur when a crash involves a drunk driver. TBI events can happen when an accident causes neck jolting and the head hits a surface, such as the roof, window, or steering wheel of the vehicle.
- Chest injuries: Injuries to the ribs and sternum are fairly common. These injuries are particularly dangerous as splintered or broken ribs can puncture vital organs like the heart.
- Leg and knee injuries: Injuries to the legs and knees typically occur during a side-impact crash. Broken bones, shattered knees, and torn ligaments can lead to long-term complications, including becoming immobile.
Lubbock Drunk Driving Attorneys
No one should drink and drive. This incredibly negligent behavior is entirely avoidable and puts many others at risk of being hit by an intoxicated driver. At Liggett Law Group, we fight to hold negligent drivers accountable for their actions and help victims obtain the compensation and peace of mind they need to move forward. If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident with a drunk driver, contact the experienced trial attorneys at Liggett Law Group today for a free consultation.