What Types of Accidents Are Caused by Drunk Drivers?

What Types of Accidents Are Caused by Drunk Drivers?Perhaps one of the most well-known and common types of crime is drunk driving. We learn about it in school, we are constantly warned against it by our mentors, peers, television shows, and even commercials – but that does not stop everyone from getting behind the wheel of a car when they’ve had too much to drink. Perhaps they did not want to pay for a ride home, or they thought that just because they were only buzzed, that driving home would not be difficult or dangerous. Whatever the reason, by driving while inebriated, they not only put their own life on the line, but those around them as well: other drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and anyone else who might be on the road at the same time. If you have been in an accident with a drunk driver, then you should speak to your Tulsa drunk driving accident attorney to make sure that you receive compensation.

What do the statistics say about drunk driving?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives us a bleak fact about drunk driving: “Every day, about 32 people in the United States die in drunk-driving crashes — that’s one person every 45 minutes. In 2020, 11,654 people died in alcohol-impaired driving traffic deaths — a 14% increase from 2019.” For the past decade, an average of 10,500 people die every year from drunk driving accidents.

Oklahoma’s statistics are even more shocking. As Oklahoma Highway Patrol’s Trooper Aaron Nickell told KOCO News 5, “In 2020, we lost 396 people in Oklahoma that was 60% of the fatal crashes in Oklahoma caused by alcohol and drug-impaired drivers.” Responsibility.org, which tracks drunk driving data across the country, found that in 2019, 78.8% of drunk driving fatalities involved a driver with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .15 – nearly twice the state’s legal limit.

Motorcyclists especially seem to have a high rate of drunk drivers, per the NHTSA. Of the 5,268 fatal drunk driving-related motorcycle crashes that occurred in 2020, 27% percent of those drivers were found to be under the influence. That is the highest percentage of drunk drivers among any type of vehicle operator.

Why is drunk driving so dangerous?

Drunk driving causes a loss in judgment, poor muscle coordination (including balance, speech, and coordination), poor memory, and poor reasoning. When you are driving, this will likely affect your speed control, impair your perception (swerving over lines), affect your concentration and ability to focus, and lead to reduced information processing capabilities–which means being unable to notice things quickly such as turning signals, stop lights, or anything that might dart out into the road.

What are the types of accidents caused by drunk driving in Tulsa?

There are many ways in which driving drunk can cause injury to others. From swerving into oncoming traffic or failing to recognize a pedestrian on the street, it has been proven time and time again that even being buzzed behind the wheel can lead to fatal consequences.

The most common drunk driving accidents include:

  • Head-on crashes: When driving drunk, it becomes difficult to make judgments clearly. You may swerve into oncoming traffic or go the wrong way down a one-way road. Head-on collisions are the deadliest types of crashes.
  • Rear-end crashes. Rear-end crashes happen often when the driver is speeding behind the person in front of them, or not giving that car enough space between their own car. The drunk driver may simply not realize that the person in front of them has stopped, leading them to crash into the back of that car.
  • Pedestrian crashes. Crashing into another car is one thing. Both drivers are offered some protection by the car around them and its safety features such as airbags. A drunk driver hitting someone walking on the road, however, can be especially dangerous. Pedestrians have no protection against the hard metal crashing into them, possibly at high speeds, and are likely to suffer a fatal accident as a result.
  • Intersection crashes. When you are under the influence, your reaction time and judgment are affected negatively. Navigating intersections requires sound judgment and communication between other drivers. When you are under the influence, your judgment is severely influenced.

Driving under the influence is not only dangerous to yourself, but to others around you. To avoid injuring yourself or others, make sure to have a designated driver or call for a ride.

What injuries can I sustain from a drunk driving accident in Tulsa?

The most serious types of injuries from drunk driving-related accidents include:

  • Traumatic brain injury. When the head hits or is hit by an object hard enough, it can cause the brain to crash against the inside of the skull, leading to bruises and abrasions. This can lead to swelling and bleeding of the brain inside the skull. A common, but still serious traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a concussion. Symptoms of a TBI include dizziness, bouts of unconsciousness, headaches, confusion, memory loss, and nausea.
  • Spinal cord injury. As the spine is the main highway for all things related to your nervous system, if it is injured, it can have devastating effects on the rest of the body, including paralysis. An incomplete spinal cord injury (SCI) may cause partial paralysis. Partial paralysis is when you retain some feeling and sensation beneath the site of the injury. A complete SCI can cause full paralysis, where there is no feeling or sensation beneath the site of the injury.
  • Burn injury. Burn injuries from car accidents can be catastrophic. Not only can burn injuries cause damage to the skin, but to the muscles and nerves beneath as well. They are extremely painful, take a long time to heal, and often cause disfiguring scars and mental trauma.
  • Wrongful death. The most tragic of outcomes from an accident with a drunk driver is the death of a loved one. The loss is painful enough, but knowing that someone’s negligence caused that person’s death makes it hurt all the worse. While no amount of money can make up for the loss of a loved one, you can hold the negligent party accountable through a wrongful death claim.

These injuries can lead to many more hardships than just physical pain. One has to account for the financial loss that can happen due to losing your job because of your injuries; hospital bills and therapy costs; the mental and emotional trauma of the accident itself, including the social deterrents you may face due to any disfigurement, and the lifelong complications of the injury you received. That is why it’s important that you talk to your Tulsa drunk driving attorney as soon as possible after the accident.

It is an unfortunate reality that if you are involved in a drunk driving accident, you may have to live with the consequences of someone else’s negligence for the rest of your life. That does not mean that you have to pay for these consequences any more than you have to. At Biby Law Firm, we know that these accidents have life-long effects on the victim. Our compassionate and hard-working Tulsa personal injury lawyers are experienced in the field of drunk driving accidents, and we will fight to make sure that the person who did this to you is punished and held responsible for their gross negligence. If you have been involved in a drunk driving accident, call Biby Law Firm at 918-574-8458 or use our contact form. Initial consultations are always free.