For California drivers who always wear their seatbelt, keep their phones out of reach and adhere to the speed limit, it can feel infuriating to be at the mercy of negligent drivers. Drunk drivers in particular pose a serious threat to other people on the road. People driving under the influence of alcohol are not only more likely to cause motor vehicle accidents, but accidents with high risks of death.
From the early 1980s through the middle of the 1990s, the number of drunk drivers on the road and resulting fatal accidents were significantly reduced. Unfortunately, not much improvement has been made over recent years. Data from 2010 indicates that 7,082 could have been avoided if drivers with .08 or higher blood-alcohol content had stayed away from the wheel. Although efforts to minimize drunk driving always seem to be underway, 2016 data showed that about 7,152 deaths were preventable for the same reasons. These figures include drunk drivers who died in the accidents they caused.
The risk of causing a fatal accident rises steeply for drivers with a BAC of .08 percent, although driving with a lower BAC -- such as .05 percent -- is also incredibly risky. This is especially true for drivers who are under the age of 21. These drivers are more likely to cause accidents while intoxicated than their older counterparts.
Motor vehicle accidents that occur at high rates of speed can cause devastating injuries or even death. Families of those who were killed by drunk drivers often feel powerless in the aftermath of a crash, but most have options at their disposal. California families may seek compensation on behalf of their loved one's estate, which can provide necessary legal recourse for covering unexpected funeral expenses and other related matters.