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12 drinking and driving auto accidents/day is 12 crashes too many

June 30, 2017 by Steven M. Gursten

The July 4 weekend is especially dangerous for drinking and driving. This July 4, let’s pledge to stop drinking and driving

Drinking and driving

Summer’s here and the time is right … to stop drinking and driving.

OK, I’ll admit that doesn’t have the same ring as how Martha Reeves and the Vandellas proclaimed it. But while there are many ways to celebrate the July 4 holiday weekend, drinking and driving should never be part of it.

This is a timely reminder that the July 4 weekend is upon us. It’s a special time of year in Michigan. But every year it is also marred by the ugly tragedies of having the majority of drunk-driving injuries and deaths occur during the summer months.

Nobody wants to die or be responsible for someone else’s death because they drank too much before getting behind the wheel.

The real tragedy behind every drunk driving death is that they are preventable. And even the “super drunk” laws enacted in 2010 — which impose twice the punishment and fines — don’t seem to be enough to deter people from drinking and driving over the July 4 weekend in Michigan.

The auto accident attorneys at my law firm still help far too many people who have been injured or who have lost loved ones in car accident death cases where drunk driving was the cause.

Up to 12 drinking and driving accidents per day over summer months

I came across these Michigan drunk driving statistics from 2015 (the latest numbers available), released by the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning’s Michigan Traffic Crash Facts division. It’s sobering to consider that each of these numbers represent a life lost in Michigan due to totally preventable car accidents at the hands of careless drunk drivers.

These numbers are a sobering reminder to never get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking, and to be extra careful on warm summer nights and weekends, when the numbers of drunk drivers on the road is highest:

  • Injuries from drinking and driving are highest in the summer in Michigan: Injury auto accidents involving people who had been drinking were the highest in August (392), July (387) and June (302). That’s an average of nearly 12 car accidents a day over a period of three months!
  • July is the worst for fatal auto accidents: The highest number of fatal car accidents involving drinking and driving was in July, with 38 fatalities.
  • Crashes peak on the weekends: Drinking and driving car accidents that involved injury or wrongful death peak on Saturday and Sunday, between midnight and 2:59 a.m.
  • Late night is the worst for fatal car crashes: Of the 269 fatal crashes involving alcohol, the 9 to 11:59 p.m. time period had the highest rate of fatal crashes involving drinking and driving (26%), followed by the midnight to 2:59 a.m. time period (24.9%). The least amount of fatal crashes because of drinking and driving occurred between 9 and 11:50 a.m. (1.48%).
  • Fatal car accidents also peak on the weekends: While Saturday had the highest number of fatal crashes (159, or 17.8%), Sunday had the highest proportion of drinking-related fatal crashes (71, or 52.6%).
  • Personal injuries are worse with drinking and driving: The severity of injuries is much worse for drivers and passengers who had been drinking.
  • More men drink and drive, and then crash and die: Of the 13,120 gender-reported drinking drivers involved in auto accidents, 9,646 (73.5%) were male and 3,474 (26.5%) were female. Those percentages closely match the fatality rates of 190 male and 46 female.
  • Post-college years see a spike in drunk driving: The majority of drunk drivers who are injured or die in car accidents are in the 25-34 years old range, at 4,003 (30.5%) gender-reported.

Please consider making your own pledge, just like our own auto accident attorneys are doing this year, by making a pledge this July 4 weekend to avoid drinking and driving.

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