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How many fatalities occur from impaired driving in West Virginia?

Residents in West Virginia are aware of the dangers that drinking and driving could present, however, some drivers still get behind the wheel of a vehicle after consuming too much alcohol. Impaired driving is a major concern nationwide, because when a driver is intoxicated, they may not be able to properly and safely control their vehicle. This could result in a serious and even fatal drunk driving accidents.

How many fatalities occur from impaired driving in West Virginia? According to a report conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 1,092 fatalities occurred in crashes involving drunk drivers from 2003 to 2012 in West Virginia. Based on 2012 data, the age group impacted most is the group of those between 21 and 34-years-old. In West Virginia, the rate for this age group is 12.9 per 100,000, while the national rate is 6.7.

The report also considered whether adult drivers were aware of their impairments and ability to drive safely. In 2012, data was collected regarding whether an adult driver believed they drove after drinking too much in the past 30 days. When asked that, 0.7 percent of adult drivers in West Virginia reported that they drove after drinking too much, while nationally, 1.9 percent reported that they did.

What does this say about driver safety and drunk driving accidents? Across the U.S., one in every three automobile collision involves a drunk driver. This means that it is a serious situation that needs attention. Even with awareness initiative and rates declining, drunk driving collisions still occur. These incidents could result in serious injuries and even fatalities. If it is determined that a drunk driver is the cause of a collision, that driver could face criminal and civil liabilities.

Following a drunk driving crash, a victim or their loved ones might be able to file a civil action against the impaired driver. A personal injury claim or a wrongful death claim could result in compensation being awarded, helping a victim or their loved ones cover losses and damages caused by the accident.

Source:, "Sobering Facts: Drunk Driving in West Virginia," accessed April 20, 2015

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