Study: many designated drivers fail to fulfill their promises
Many people nowadays rely on a designated driver to get a safe ride home when going out to a restaurant, bar or party. A designated driver is someone who promises to refrain from drinking and agrees to drive those who have home. Although the idea of a designated driver is a noble one, according to a recent study, many designated drivers do not take their promises to refrain from drinking as seriously as they should.
The study, recently published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, surveyed 1,071 patrons of bars over a three-month period. Out of this group, 165 identified themselves as designated drivers. The study revealed that 40 percent of those who called themselves designated drivers consumed some alcohol before driving others home.
More startling was that about 20 percent of designated drivers drank enough alcohol to cause their driving skills to become impaired. After the designated drivers were given breath tests, 17 percent had a blood alcohol level of between .02 and .049. In this range, alcohol has a slight affect on the driving skills. However, 18 percent had a blood alcohol level of .05 and above. At this point, the driver is clearly impaired and at a greater risk of having a car accident.
The authors of the study warn people to be careful in whom they trust as the designated driver, as there is a fair chance that he or she may not be the safest ride home.
Drunk driving and New York
Unfortunately, drunk driving remains a frequent cause of fatal car accidents in New York and across the nation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 30 people each day die in a car accident caused by an alcohol-impaired driver. In 2010 alone, the CDC reported that 10,228 people were killed in alcohol-related car accidents. This accounts for about 31 percent of fatal car accidents nationwide.
Drunk driving is also a significant cause of traffic deaths in New York. In 2012, about 315 people were killed on New York roads by drunk drivers, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. This represents about 27 percent of traffic deaths.
Impaired drivers who injure or kill another driver can face a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. Depending on the type of lawsuit filed, injured parties are entitled to recover medical bills, lost wages, funeral expenses, loss of support and other compensation. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a drunk driver, contact an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney can ensure that your right to compensation is protected.