Drunk driving continues to be a serious issue in the United States, year after year. These crashes took 10,874 lives in 2017, for instance. That was a drop of 1.1 percent from 2016, when another 10,996 people lost their lives.
Maybe you lost a loved one in a DUI accident, so you know only too well how common it is. You understand how drunk drivers never think it will happen to them until it does. You know all about the emotional and economic impact such a loss can have on a family.
To paint a better picture for those who may not be as well-acquainted with the situation, here are five key facts:
1. Summer has the greatest risks
Most DUI crashes happen in the summer. The worst months are July, August and September. July had the most DUI accidents in one study, with 9.6% of the yearly total. The other two months both had 9%.
2. Most crashes are not on the interstate
If you want to avoid a DUI accident, avoid the back roads. While a mere 13% of DUI accidents happened on the interstate, a full 87% happened elsewhere.
3. Urban areas see greater risks
While the split is fairly close to even, it's true that urban areas see more deadly DUI accidents, with 55% of the total. The other 45% are on rural roads.
4. Most DUI accidents happen in good weather conditions
Just 7% of these wrecks took place when it was raining. Another 3% happened in "other" conditions. The vast majority, with a full 90%, happened when it was cloudy or clear.
5. The majority of DUI accidents happen at night
Driving after dark is one of the most dangerous things you can do, at least when looking at DUI risks. Only 1% of these accidents happened at dawn, 3% happened at dusk and 26% happened during the day. Meanwhile, a massive 70% took place at night.
Many of these facts are not surprising. People certainly drink more after dark, leading to more DUI crashes. Since more accidents happen during the summer, it makes sense that they take place in relatively good weather. Even the tendency to have accidents on smaller roads fits since people are often driving home from local bars and other establishments.
Of course, understanding how these crashes happen and even why they take place does not mean you can always avoid them. If you suffer serious injuries -- or, as noted above, if you have lost a loved one in a deadly wreck -- it is critical that you understand all of your legal rights.