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One third of all traffic deaths due to drunk driving

Drunk driving is behind one-third of all deaths resulting from traffic injuries, so Illinois drivers will want to know what some of the common factors are in these crashes. The groups with the highest risk for a drunk driving crash are drivers under the age of 24, motorcyclists and those with a prior DUI conviction. Those who mix alcohol with drugs or medication increase their risk, too.

Even when their blood alcohol concentration is equal, younger drivers have a higher risk than older drivers because of their inexperience behind the wheel and their tendency to become distracted when others are in the car. A BAC of 0.08 percent (the legal limit in most states) will slow down reaction times as well as impair judgment, depth perception and peripheral vision.

The most common causes of death in drunk driving crashes include head trauma, damage to the internal organs and excessive blood loss. Occupants could be struck by flying debris or hit their head on a hard surface. The internal organs could be damaged through blunt force trauma or be pierced by glass.

In the effort to prevent drunk driving crashes, police often set up sobriety checks on roads and highways. Individuals can do their part by dissuading friends and family members from driving drunk and by educating others about the implications of alcohol intoxication.

In the event of a drunk driving accident, those who are injured through little or no fault of their own may want to consult with a lawyer once they have reached maximum medical improvement. They may still be left with future medical bills and lost earning capacity, but if they file a claim and are successful, they might be covered for these and other losses. The lawyer may be able to handle all negotiations and litigate as a last resort.