Progress not perfection: Advocates vow to continue fight against Chicago car accidents caused by drunk drivers

A new study found that 17 million motorists a year drive drunk despite 80 percent of drivers who cite drunk driving as a serious threat to the health and welfare of their family.

The study found that 8 percent of motorists admitted to driving drunk at least once in the past year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. As our Chicago injury lawyers have frequently reported, drunk driving crashes are a leading cause of Illinois car accidents — 434 of 1,043 fatal accidents that were reported in 2008 involved alcohol.The news has Mothers Against Drunk Driving redoubling its efforts as we head into the heart of the 2010 holiday season.

“The survey makes one thing very clear: drunk driving remains a primary threat to the American family,” said Laura Dean-Mooney, MADD National President. “This means that MADD’s work won’t be done until cars are turned into the cure, eliminating drunk driving forever.”

Still, there is good news: MADD says drunk driving fatalities have declined nationwide by 44 percent in the 30 years since the organization’s inception. And the survey found support for ignition interlock devices and sobriety checkpoints, two of the enforcement actions most promoted by MADD and other safety advocates.

Like many poor driving decision, the study found that teenagers are among those most at risk; particularly young men under the age of 24. A full one-fourth of all young males admitted to driving drunk or riding in a car with someone who had too much to drink at some point during the last year.

“We know that the younger kids start drinking alcohol, the more likely they are to become drunk drivers,” said Dean-Mooney. “This data reiterates that point and makes it clear that parents need to talk to their kids about the dangers of drinking underage early, and often.”

If you or a loved one has been injured in a Chicago car accident, contact Abels & Annes for a free consultation to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS to speak directly to a lawyer now.

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