November 01, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/
-- To the family of someone killed in a traffic accident, it is no consolation to say that traffic fatalities are down overall. The same goes for someone seriously injured.
It is true that the overall number of motor vehicle accidents has declined in recent years, both in Minnesota and nationally. However, the sad reality is that there are still far too many serious and fatal car accidents
in Minnesota every year. Even more troubling is the fact that so many of these accidents are caused by drunk drivers.
Road Deaths Decline Overall
In 2011, there were 368 road deaths in Minnesota, according to state statistics. According to the Department of Public Safety, this was the fewest people killed on the road since 1944. It is also a 44 percent decrease in fatalities from only a decade ago.
Still, 368 fatal accidents in a year are still far too many in a state of only five million people. After all, that's still more than one per day -- and each fatality means the loss of an irreplaceable human life.
When one digs a bit deeper into the data, it is easy to see how much work Minnesota still has cut out for it to truly make the roads safe for all.
Drunk Driving Accidents
Drunk driving accidents
continue to be a major problem in Minnesota. Data
from the Department of Public Safety shows that 111 Minnesotans were killed in drunk driving accidents in 2011. This means that nearly 28 percent of all car accident fatalities were completely preventable -- if only these drivers had not made the decision to get behind the wheel after having too much to drink, their victims would still be alive today.
Despite these troubling numbers, it is important to recognize that total drunk driving deaths in Minnesota have fallen in recent years. The drunk driving death toll is down 40 percent from 2002.
Much of the decline can be attributed to increased enforcement on the part of state and local law enforcement agencies. Together, they arrested 29,257 Minnesotans on suspicion of DWI in 2011. In addition, anti-drunk driving public safety initiatives have helped to reduce the death toll. Specifically, the Department of Public Safety points to the following strategies:
- Requiring some DWI offenders to use ignition interlock devices that prevent vehicles from starting when the driver is under the influence
- Special DWI courts that work with DWI offenders to change behavior
- Impounding the license plates of DWI offenders who have had their driving privileges taken away
- Providing "safe cabs" and other alternative transportation options for people who have been drinking
Hopefully, these enforcement and safety campaigns will continue to reduce the number of drunk driving accidents in Minnesota.
Minnesota Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Criminal charges are a powerful tool for combating DWI and holding drunk drivers accountable. However, it is important to remember that they are not the only way for the loved ones of someone killed in a drunk driving accident to seek justice.
Whenever a fatal accident is caused by drunk driving -- or any other type of negligence, for that matter -- the victim's survivors can bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Although nothing can bring the victim back to life, a wrongful death lawsuit can provide compensation for many of the family's losses, including medical bills, funeral expenses, loss of the victim's future earnings and loss of companionship.
If your loved one has been killed in a drunk driving accident, talking to a Minneapolis personal injury attorney can help you understand your rights and options.
Article provided by Robichaud, Anderson and Alcantara P.A.
Visit us at www.robichaudlaw.com---
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