Tag Archives: Drunk Driving

Traffic-Related Deaths Remain High in the U.S.

On February 15, 2018, the Wall Street Journal published an article entitled “U.S. Road-Death Rates Remain Near 10-Year High.” The article discusses the National Safety Council’s (NSC) statistics on traffic-related fatalities for 2017.[1] The NSC found that traffic-related deaths in the U.S. declined by approximately 1% in the year 2017. While any decline in traffic-related deaths is good news, analysts hoped to see an even larger decline following back to back increases in traffic-related fatalities in 2015 and 2016.

The National Safety Council is one of two primary organizations that publish data on roadway fatalities. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also published data but only reports deaths occurring on public roadways. The NSC incorporates incidents from private roadways into their report which slightly increases the number of total fatalities.

The NSC reported a 7% increase in 2014 and a 6% in 2015.[2] Both years’ data came as a surprise because traffic-related deaths per vehicle miles traveled (VMT) have declined since 1921 (see graph below).[3]

Traffic-Related Deaths are High in U.S.

The Wall Street Journal article also documents the comments of experts regarding the factors behind the unfortunate trend.[4] A spokesperson for the NSC attributed the rising fatality rate to drunk driving incidents. She cites the differences between the blood alcohol level laws in the United States and other nations and remarks that the best way to drive down roadway deaths is to reduce drunk driving. Automotive executives point to the increased use of hand-held devices as a catalyst for the trend. Automakers have focused resources in recent years to add hands-free technology in their vehicles to reduce this trend among motorists.

Experts are unable to pinpoint the exact reasons the trend in traffic-related fatalities has shifted upward in recent years; however, the problems of drunk driving and smartphone use continue to plague drivers across the nation.

In most cases, traffic accidents result in injuries rather than fatalities. Over the past decade, traffic-related injuries in the U.S. have vacillated between 2.2 million and 2.4 million.[5] The sheer volume of these numbers underscores the necessity of paying attention while driving. Of course, avoid driving while intoxicated and refrain from smartphone use, but it is also imperative to stay alert while operating a motor vehicle realizing that others may not exercise careful driving.

If you think you have been injured as the result of a traffic accident see a doctor, and, as always, please call Groth Law Firm, S.C. at 877-375-7001 with any questions.  We are available 24/7 to discuss your options as the victim of someone else’s negligent actions. Our initial consultations are always free.

 

[1] https://www.wsj.com/articles/death-rates-on-u-s-roads-remain-near-10-year-high-1518692401

[2] http://www.nsc.org/NewsDocuments/2017/12-month-estimates.pdf

[3] http://www.businessinsider.com/traffic-fatalities-historical-trend-us-2016-4

[4] https://www.wsj.com/articles/death-rates-on-u-s-roads-remain-near-10-year-high-1518692401

[5] https://www.statista.com/statistics/191900/road-traffic-related-injuries-and-fatalities-in-the-us-since-1988/

Drunk Driving a Wheelchair

Doesn’t this story just make my point that taking the keys from a drunk driver probably won’t stop the offender?  Jail time or prison takes the multiple drunk driver off the streets…that is really the only to guarantee a drunk driver won’t drive.  This guy had 4 prior convictions.   Cars or a wheelchair – the guy, for some reason, had to drive.

Progress On Drunk Driving Laws?

I’m hopeful that this story from the Badger Herald isn’t just wishful thinking!  It appears that both Republicans and Democrats are making headway to strengthen Wisconsin’s drunk driving laws.  As you probably know Wisconsin’s drunk driving laws are among the most lax in the United States.

According to the article:

Some of the changes put forth in the bills include requiring repeat offenders to have an ignition interlock on their car, increasing minimum fines and time of imprisonment, and allowing multiple offenders to pursue alcohol treatment with parole instead of being sentenced to time in prison.

Now, I’m not sure about the details especially the part about “increasing the time of imprisonment” but at the same time allowing multiple offenders to “pursue alcohol treatment” instead of time in prison.

I’ll keep you updated.

Speed Defeats Right of Way

A Marinette, Wisconsin man was driving on U.S. 41 when a car pulled onto the highway.  The Marinette man struck this vehicle.  The Marinette man survived.  Everyone in the other vehicle died.

If this is all you heard you may say that the other vehicle was at fault.  Why didn’t they see the Marinette man’s vehicle?  They should have yielded the right of way to the vehicle on U.S. 41.

In Wisconsin “speed defeats right of way.”  So, if you are speeding on the road and another car pulls out in front of you, guess what?  You, the speeder, are at fault.

That is what happened in this case.  Plus, I should mention that the Marinette man was intoxicated.  An accident reconstruction specialist estimated the Marinette, Wisconsinite was driving between 77 and 81 in a 45 mph zone.

The Marinette man killed the driver of the car, his three daughters (two were pregnant so two kids were killed) and his son.

The Marinette man was allegedly at a bar where his wife worked for 9 hours prior to the crash.  He told the police that he was distracted when the collision occurred.  He was changing the radio station in his car.

Read the AP’s full story at jsonline.com.

If you have questions about an accident involving a drunk driver or whether someone is “at fault” in Wisconsin feel free to contact me at 800-950-9882.  I’d be happy to discuss your situation.

www.jonpgroth.com

Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in Wausaukee, Kenosha, Janesville and Wauwatosa.

Technology and the Personal Injury Lawyer

I was recently introduced to Lawyers Weekly USA.   They wrote an article about investigating social networks in civil cases.  If you scroll down this page you’ll see my previous post on this topic.

I’m not surprised that this has become a “hot topic.”   I can’t stress enough how important it is for personal injury attorneys (or any litigator for that matter) to be aware of today’s technology.  How long does it take type a name in google and yahoo? 

Liability disputes in car accident cases and especially drunk driving cases are ripe for social network investigation.   If someone is drunk and causes a car accident it is important to know if they had a history of drunk driving.  Was that drunk driver aware of the potential harm they could cause by getting behind the wheel while drunk again?  Comments on their blog or myspace page are important to discovery before filing a lawsuit.  It could mean the differnence between filing a claim for only compensatory damages or adding a claim for punitive damages.

Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in West AllisSheboyganPlymouthand Germantown.

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