Every motorist understands the dangers of impaired driving. We are reminded of this throughout the year, particularly around summer holidays when drinking and driving is on the rise. Despite these warnings, people continue to drink and drive and injure other drivers and passengers on the roadway.
How likely is it for someone to be involved in a crash with an impaired driver? And what are the potential effects?
Crashes with Impaired Driving as a Factor
Colorado's 2020 Motor Vehicle Problem Identification report provides good data from across the state. In one section, the report isolates all crashes that resulted in an injury or fatality in the year 2018, then looks at the most common driver factors associated with these wrecks.
According to the data, just over one in every five injury or fatality crashes (21%) were the result of impaired driving. That's either driving under the influence (DUI), driving while ability impaired (DWAI) or driving under the influence of drugs (DUID). This makes impaired driving the second-most common factor in injury or fatality crashes in the state, behind distracted driving (22%).
Injuries and Deaths Caused by Suspected DUI
What kind of harm can drunk driving crashes cause to motorists? According to statistics provided by the Colorado Department of Transportation, there were a total of 5,775 crashes in 2018 in which a vehicle operator was suspected of DUI.
These suspected DUI wrecks led to a tragic 172 deaths. These crashes also resulted in a staggering 2,911 reported injuries, some of them incapacitating.
Denver County recorded the highest number of injuries in suspected DUI crashes that year with 521. Its 19 fatalities were second only to El Paso County, which recorded 29 such deaths.
Knowing there are thousands of Colorado drivers who, every year, suffer harm as a result of drunk driving is a troubling thought. For those who do face new life challenges, whether big or small, know there are options to hold drunk drivers accountable while ensuring you receive the support you need.