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One More Los Angeles Drunk Driving Accident: One More Tragic, Preventable Death

A drunk driver may be responsible for a chain-reaction accident that killed one person and injured three more in Los Angeles on Saturday.

According to police officers, a 1991 Ford Mustang hit a BMW at an intersection, causing the BMW to slam into four people on a nearby sidewalk. The Mustang driver attempted to flee the scene on foot, but was arrested by police officers. He has since been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and manslaughter.

Because they happen so frequently, many of us are immune to drunk driving accident stories. And that is precisely the problem. It seems that we hear the stories, blame the driver and then get on with our lives, many of us choosing to drink and drive ourselves. In fact, even though everyone would agree that drunk driving is dangerous, nine percent of U.S. drivers admitted on a survey that they drove drunk in the 30 days preceding the survey. And that is precisely why:

  • Every day in the U.S., 27 people die from drunk driving
  • A person is injured in a drunk driving collision approximately every 90 seconds
  • One in three people will be involved in a drunk driving accident sometime in their lives
  • More than 200 children are killed in drunk driving accidents every year, and at least 50 percent of those children are killed by their own parents' choice to drink and drive

(Statistics from www.madd.org)

In reality, most drunk drivers feel "safe" on the road because they have never been caught -- what matters to them is "getting home without getting caught." Criminal charges are simply not enough to deter drunk drivers. Why? On average, a driver drives drunk 80 times before police stop him or her. Unfortunately, many of those drivers will face their first criminal lawsuits far too late -- after they have injured or killed someone else.

While we fight hard for the victims of drunk driving in motor vehicle accident lawsuits against drunk drivers, we have to ask: Can't we all fight hard against drunk driving? Can't we all decide to make smart choices and ask our family and friends to do the same?

Source: The Tribune, "Chain-reaction crash kills 1, injured 3 in LA," The Associated Press, July 21, 2013

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