In 2015, California recorded more fatalities from drunk driving accidents than it had experienced since 2009.
There are a myriad of things that may influence or outright cause a motor vehicle accident in California to happen. Sadly, so many of these things are ultimately the result of negligent actions by drivers. Whether people make the careless choice to text while driving, engage in a race with another vehicle on busy roads or to drive when they are too tired, the outcome can be the same. This is also when people choose to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after they have consumed alcohol.
Despite being the subject of many a public awareness campaign over the past several decades, drunk driving continues to claim lives in California.
2015 drunk driving fatalities highest since 2009
According to records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2015 was a particularly deadly year on California roads and highways. In looking at the number of deaths recorded from all types of traffic accidents, it is seen that 3,176 people lost their lives statewide that year. That is the greatest number of vehicular fatalities in California since 2008.
Of those 3,176 people who died in 2015, 914 perished in crashes in which alcohol was a factor. That is the highest number of drunk driving deaths in the state since 2009. The 914 deaths in 2015 represented a sizeable increase over the 876 in the prior year.
Across southern California, Orange County lost 207 lives to drunk drivers between 2011 and 2015. Neighboring San Diego and Los Angeles Counties lost 316 and 798, respectively. In inland San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, 366 and 351 people were killed by drunk drivers, respectively.
Accidents come in many forms
Perhaps one of the challenges associated with drunk driving accidents is that there is no standard situation in which they may occur, making it hard to effectively avoid or prevent them.
This spring in Maywood, ABC News reports that two pedestrians were talking with an officer when a speeding drunk driver plowed into a parked car, then into the two pedestrians and then into more parked cars. One of the pedestrians died.
NBC News told of how a father of five children between two and 16 years old was hit and killed by a 24-year-old drunk driver while he was out for a jog with his wife in north San Diego County. The man was able to push his wife out of the way of the oncoming vehicle before he was struck.
A crash in Long Beach was caused by a drunk driver who fled the scene leaving his two passengers behind, one of whom died according to the Los Angeles Times. The at-fault driver was found and faces criminal charges.
Californians deserve help
Clearly not enough people are willing to hang up their keys if they are going to drink and this leaves many other people vulnerable. When an accident caused by a drunk driver occurs, those involved should always reach out to an attorney for help to learn how they may seek compensation and support.