During summertime, the enjoyment of outdoor picnics by the beach or cookouts with friends can deceive even the most careful drivers into getting behind the wheel after having too many drinks to drive safely.
Despite the good feelings of being around friends and family, intoxicated driving can affect many people, not just the driver alone.
Driving drunk can potentially affect other drivers, cyclists, and even pedestrians sharing the road, causing personal injuries from a car crash. Intoxicated driving can just as likely injure the passengers within the driver’s own car.
One unfortunate type of victim in this personal injury or drunk driving scenario is the child passenger who has been brought along for the ride.
The nationwide statistics on child passengers suffering injury from an intoxicated driver are grim. A new study on the subject is discussed in this article appearing recently in Reuters. The statistics, though not exhaustive, point to the likelihood of a child suffering severe injuries (including death) in proportion to the rising level of the driver’s blood alcohol.
New Jersey, Massachusetts, and New York were the states with the lowest rates of death from children riding with an impaired driver. South Dakota, New Mexico and Mississippi had the highest measurable rates.
The Reuter’s Health article goes on to state a difficult finding: ‘About 70 percent of the time the drunk driver survived the crash,’ the research doctor said. ‘This means many times the crashes were survivable and if the child were buckled up they might have lived.’”
Since alcohol and mood altering substances (illicit or not) work to inhibit judgment and reaction time, buckling children into seats may seem like an optional choice as a person’s blood alcohol level begins rising.
Seatbelt laws are already in place to promote public safety and the welfare of children. Sensible drinking habits, planning ahead for a designated driver, or just calling a cab or good friend if plans can’t be made ahead of time can further curb the tendency to forego using seatbelts.
The Law Offices of Anthony J. Vecchio, LLC wish all New Jersey drivers to use their best judgment and enjoy safe travels this summer.
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