Rise in 2020 Drunk Driving Fatalities

Even though motorists drove less in 2020 due to pandemic lock down, Virginia still saw an increase in the number of drunk driving fatalities.  The National Institutes of Health reports that rates of reported alcohol consumption have increased by about 60% over pre-pandemic times. This increased alcohol usage is reported to be a result of increased stress (45.7%), increased alcohol availability with many people working from home (34.4%), as well as boredom (30.1%).

Virginia Alcohol-Related Fatalities

According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, crash fatalities caused by alcohol have decreased by about 30% over the last 30 years.  This seems like good news.  But, it appears that during the pandemic, alcohol combined with other reckless and risky driving behaviors has caused an increase in serious crashes leading to death or serious injury.  In the U.S. overall, even though the actual number of miles driven in 2020 dropped about 40%, the mileage death rate per 100 million vehicle miles driven increased.

Pandemic Driving

Even though fewer people were driving during the pandemic, our roads were not really any safer.  In addition to Virginia, other states with sizeable alcohol-related crash fatalities rates in 2020 included Arkansas, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, and Oklahoma.

Even in 2021, drunk driving crashes seem to be on the rise.  Recently, an alcohol-related crash in Waynesboro, Virginia, killed Anne Seaton, a 49 year old mother of four.  In a Harrisonburg crash which occurred behind the West Side Baptist Church.

Both alcohol-related and excess speed were among the top causes of auto accident fatalities in 2020.  Unfortunately, drunk driving claims the lives of too many accident victims in Virginia.  Drivers who drink and get behind the wheel not only put others at risk, they risk their own lives as well.  Victims of drunk driving collisions have medical expenses and other damages that pile up because of the at-fault party’s negligence.

Spring/Summer and Alcohol

As we head into spring and summer and pandemic restrictions loosen, both teenage and adult parties will be on the rise.  It will be tempting for drivers, both young and old, to drink alcohol at a party and then get behind the wheel.  The statistics that we’ve given above clearly show the risks of this behavior.

Designate a sober driver to driver you and other friends who may be impaired.  Also, be aware of increased bicycle and pedestrian traffic.  And, lastly, stay in tune with teen drivers to ensure that they are driving to protect the safety of others as well as themselves.

Don’t take chances with your life or the lives of others.  Drinking and driving is simply not worth the risk!

Contact A Virginia Drunk Driving Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence of a drunk driver, contact our Virginia drunk driver lawyers today.  The Ritchie Law Firm is a Virginia and West Virginia personal injury law firm serving the cities of Harrisonburg, Winchester, Charlottesville, Staunton and surrounding areas; as well as the Martinsburg, West Virginia area.

Because the insurance companies have lawyers working for them, you need a team of experienced personal injury lawyers working for you. You need a car accident lawyer who will fight to recover your medical expenses as well as your lost wages and compensation for pain and suffering.

When your family and health are on the line, we go into BATTLE for you!

The Ritchie Law Firm has dedicated its practice to serving victims of serious car accidents for nearly half a century.  You can talk to us for free.  We work on a contingency fee, so that means there’s no fee unless we win your case.

When Your Health And Family Are On the Line

We Go Into BATTLE for you!

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