Each year in early September, Americans celebrate Labor Day as the summer winds down. It's a great time to remember the countless ways workers have contributed to the well-being and prosperity of the United States. The weeks leading up to Labor Day are also a good time to remind everyone of the risks of drunk driving, as statistics show that this time of year is particularly dangerous on our nation's roads.
Earlier in August, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced its "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" initiative, which started on Aug. 15 and will extend through Labor Day weekend. This year's announcement placed special emphasis on the overall costs -- from the personal to the economic -- that result from drunk driving. More than 10,000 law enforcement agencies throughout the U.S. are taking part in the initiative.
Statistics show that, on average, the monetary cost of a minor injury caused by drunk driving comes to about $22,000. That figure doesn't account for an injured person's diminished quality of life. That additional cost is estimated to be another $25,000 or more.
The more severely a person is injured, the higher the cost. The NHTSA estimates that a critical injury in a drunk driving accident will result in more than $1.1 million in economic costs, as well as nearly $5 million in lost quality of life.
Those numbers are particularly staggering when you consider that, on average, one person dies every 51 minutes because of a drunk driving accident.
If you or a loved one has been harmed by a drunk driver, then it is important to be aware of your right to seek legal justice beyond criminal court. In many cases, a personal injury or wrongful death claim is the only way for victims of drunk driving to receive the compensation they need and deserve.
Source: NHTSA.gov, "U.S. Department of Transportation Kicks Off Nationwide 'Driver Sober or Get Pulled Over' Crackdown," Aug. 13, 2014