Analyzing the costs of drunk driving involves looking at the macroeconomic and microeconomic levels. In other words, how they affect society as a whole as well as the individuals involved. The costs associated with drunk driving extend into how these incidents affect any victims involved in a vehicle accident, both on a physical and emotional level as well as at a financial level.
When we examine the information available from the California Office of Traffic Safety, we can see that there were more than 23,000 total alcohol-related injuries on state roadways during the latest reporting year on file. Alcohol has a major effect on lives in this state and in every other state across the country, particularly when it comes to motor vehicle operations.
In each state across the country, alcohol is a leading cause of traffic fatalities. The Office of Traffic Safety says that an average of 652 lives have been lost each year over the last five years in California. Those who do survive these incidents often sustain significant injuries as a result of the alcohol impairment collision. This includes traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord trauma, amputations and crush injuries, and more.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that there is around one death every 50 minutes as a result of alcohol-related crashes.
Alcohol-related collisions cost money. Not only do they cost individuals money, but they cost society as well. According to the CDC, the annual cost of alcohol-impaired-related collisions is more than $44 billion.
At a more personal level, the cost of a drunk driving collision will vary depending on the circumstances related to the overall crash. Individuals who sustain injuries will most certainly have medical bills, and this will not be cheap. For anything more than a very minor injury, alcohol-impaired collision victims could end up paying tens of thousands of dollars or more for treatment.
Additionally, if a drunk driving accident collision is severe, victims may not be able to work while they recover, leading to a significant amount of lost wages that must be taken into consideration.
Another major aspect of drunk driving collisions that many people do not think about is how these incidents affect individuals’ mental health. Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are common in those who experience a vehicle accident. For those who have been involved in a severe drunk driving accident collision, it is more likely that they will experience symptoms of fear, anxiety, stress, sleeplessness, and more in the aftermath of the incident.
Additionally, if the incident and the injuries led to any type of disability or scarring and disfigurement, the incident could have a dramatic effect on a person’s quality of life.
We strongly encourage any drunk driving accident victim to work with a skilled attorney who can put together the pieces of what happened. An attorney will be an advocate that will negotiate for fair compensation from the at-fault party.