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  • Writer's pictureLeitner Varughese Warywoda

Declining Rate of Opioid-Related Motor Vehicle Crashes

Driving while intoxicated in New York results in thousands of auto accident deaths every year. According to the New York State Police, drunk drivers alone cause approximately 17,000 fatalities in New York every year, which averages out to about one death every 30 minutes. Over 30% of all deadly car crashes in New York are alcohol-related collisions. This data does not even include statistics for drugged driving and motorists who cause severe and fatal collisions due to driving under the influence of a drug. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 16% of all nighttime drivers on weekends use “illicit drugs” even when they are not involved in crashes.

Driving while intoxicated in New York means driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and any motorist who is intoxicated and causes a crash can be liable for the severe injuries sustained by others in the collision. A recent report from Yale News suggests that the rate of opioid-related collisions has declined, yet overall rates of intoxicated driving crashes remain somewhat high. Our New York auto accident lawyers can provide you with additional information.

Opioids Have Been Responsible for a Shockingly High Rate of Intoxicated Driving Crashes

As the Yale News article explains, “people taking prescription opioids are more than twice as likely to be involved in a car accident than those who aren’t.” For the 20-year period between “the early 1990s and early 2010s, as opioid use rose sharply in the United States, the number of fatalities among drivers using prescription opioids increased seven-fold.” New data suggests, however, that overall rates of opioid-related drugged driving crashes have declined in more recent years. Between 2014 and 2018, fewer severe and fatal collisions were attributed to opioid use.

The reason for the decline in opioid-related drugged driving crashes likely has to do with attention to the opioid crisis more broadly in the U.S. As measures have been taken to reduce the rate of opioid use, fewer drivers have caused severe or deadly crashes as a result of opioid use.

Intoxicated Driving Continues to Result in Serious and Fatal Crashes

While opioid-related crash rates may have declined, the data suggest overall rates of intoxicated driving crashes have not significantly dropped in New York. Both drunk and drugged drivers continue to cause crashes in the state.

If you were injured by an intoxicated driver, your first step to seeking compensation is to file a claim through your own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Then, if you can prove that you meet the serious injury threshold required to file a lawsuit, you may be able to sue the intoxicated driver or another party who is liable for the crash.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in New York

Anyone who has been injured in a collision involving an intoxicated driver should seek advice from an experienced New York car accident lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney at our firm can assess your case today and can provide you with more information about the serious injury threshold and filing an intoxicated driving claim. Contact Leitner Varughese, PLLC, for more information.


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