In October 2017, the United States Department of Transportation released information about the fatal accidents that happened on U.S. roads during calendar year 2016. Throughout the country, motor vehicle accidents deaths rose by more than 5% in 2016 when compared to 2015. During 2016, 37,461 people died because of motor vehicle accident injuries.
A Closer Look at Drunk Driving Deaths
Some causes of fatal accidents—such as drowsy driving and distracted driving—decreased in 2016. However, the same was not true for drunk driving. Nationally, drunk driving deaths increased by 1.7% in 2016. According to the statistics, 10,497 deaths were caused by drunk drivers last year.
Here in Alaska, the statistics were even more significant. According to the information from the U.S. Department of Transportation:
- Alaska was the state with the second highest percent increase in drunk driving deaths during 2016 (second only to Vermont).
- Alaska drunk driving deaths increased by 36.4% in 2016 when compared to 2015 drunk driving deaths in our state.
- Eight more people died in Alaska drunk driving accidents in 2016 as compared to 2015.
- Thirty people lost their lives in alcohol impaired accidents in Alaska during 2016. This accounted for 36% of all traffic-related deaths.
Every drunk driving death is a tragedy. The victim’s life is cut short by someone else’s decision to drink and drive and his loved ones are left mourning his death. These accidents are preventable, and it is important to learn from past mistakes. Statistics are only useful if they are used to prevent future tragedies.
Let’s Make 2018 Safer
Throughout the holiday season and into 2018, we encourage everyone to be aware of the dangers of drunk driving and to do their part to prevent drunk driving accidents from occurring. While our goal as a community should be to get to zero fatalities, it is also important to know what to do if a drunk driving accident impacts your family. You have rights and you may be able to recover damages. We hope that you never find yourself in this situation, but if you do then we encourage to contact us and to let us help you through this difficult time.