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Drunk driving still problematic in North Carolina


When North Carolinians first learn to drive, they are taught to be fully aware of their surroundings and to drive defensively. Though this practice may decrease one's odds of an injurious crash, the negligent acts of others can still injure those who employ defensive tactics. This is especially true when other drivers choose to drink and drive. These reckless motorists put other drivers, their passengers and pedestrians at significant risk of harm and death.

Drunk driving accidents are a common problem throughout the United States and North Carolina. In 2014, our state saw 371 drunk driving deaths, accounting for more than 28 percent of all traffic fatalities. That is an increase of 0.3 percent over 2013. Making matters worse, a survey of those aged 12 to 20 showed that nearly one-quarter had consumed alcohol in the past month. That equates to more than a quarter-million people. Also, nearly 15 percent of these individuals admitted to binge drinking in the past month.

These statistics are startling. At any given time, there could be hundreds, perhaps even thousands of North Carolinians who are intoxicated. Though not all of these individuals make the poor decision to climb behind the wheel of their vehicle, still far too many do. Those who fall victim to these drunk drivers may be left with irreparable physical harm and devastating financial loss.

One way for victims to try to recoup their losses, achieve a sense of justice, and raise awareness of the dangers of drunk driving is to file a personal injury lawsuit. If successful, compensation may be awarded for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering, and others may see the liability imposed as a reason to stay away from drinking and driving.

Source: Mothers Against Drunk Driving, "North Carolina," accessed on Dec. 7, 2015

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John McCabe wrote "The Investigation and Analysis of Personal Injury Cases" in the best-selling book Personal Injury Practice in North Carolina. This is the book that other lawyers follow in handling personal injury cases.

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