One of the most irresponsible actions that someone can perform on the road is drinking while driving. I’ve been a Seattle auto accident lawyer for over a decade and have seen how the dangers of driving under the influence greatly outweigh any benefits. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 11,773 people were killed in 2008 as a direct result of auto accidents involving alcohol. This number represents over 30% of the fatalities caused by car accidents that year. While government agencies and other various organizations have made a strong effort to reduce the number DUI accidents in the United States, the statistics are still extremely high.
On Monday, January 17th, 51 year-old Bradley Hansen was driving Northbound on Zylstra Road at approximately 10:20pm with a BAC (blood alcohol content) higher than .08. He was driving a 2002 Chevrolet Impala when a deer crossed the road ahead. Hansen swerved to avoid the animal and crashed into an occupied 1998 Oldsmobile Regency that was parked on the side of the road. The Impala then struck a utility pole and finally stopped in a driveway. The two occupants of the Oldsmobile were not injured and, though the Impala was destroyed, Hansen walked away unarmed.
The authorities reported that there were a variety of factors leading to this car accident including high speed, an unforeseen obstacle, and the high blood alcohol content. All of these factors are dangerous and should be avoided, but it is the alcohol that makes the rest of the factors even more relevant. Hansen’s excessive speed could have been a result of impaired judgment. Also, swerving to avoid a deer may have been exceedingly difficult with a delayed reaction. Driving under the influence of alcohol poses a serious threat to the occupants within a car as well as other vehicles on the road.