Using statistics for the year of 2017, the City of Jacksonville had the third highest number of fatalities per capita in car and truck accidents caused by a driver operating under the influence. More specifically, Jacksonville suffered an alarming 5.6 DUI deaths per 100,000 residents in 2017. Nationwide, the average for 2017 was 3.4 DUI related deaths per 100,000 people.
In Florida, 515 people died in DUI vehicle crashes in 2017. Of all of the traffic fatalities in the United States in 2017, 29% involved drunk drivers. Sixty-eight percent of car accidents with drunk driving fatalities involve at least one driver with a blood alcohol level of .15 or higher, nearly twice the legal limit.
From 2015 to 2017, there have been 138 DUI crash deaths in Jacksonville. In Jacksonville, U.S. 1 (Philips Highway) has been the most common location of DUI accident fatalities with 15 people killed.
It is not known why Jacksonville has had such a high rate of DUI deaths. Different factors may come into play. First, Jacksonville has a great deal of interstate highway, with I-95 traversing the entire length of the county from north to south and I-10 spanning from the center of the county to its western border. Interstates, with high speed limits and heavy trucking traffic are common sites of serious car and truck accidents.
Second, there has been an immense degree of road construction ongoing throughout the Jacksonville area for years, especially in the downtown and J.Turner Butler Boulevard areas. Road construction projects are common locations for car accidents as: the normal flow pattern of traffic can catch a driver off guard; construction vehicles entering the roadways can cause accidents; and traffic slowdowns always lead to rear-end car accidents. Of course, drinking while driving only compounds these problems.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been recording the number of alcohol related car accidents since 1982. Thankfully, the number of DUI fatalities has decreased 48% since 1982. Of course, as an entirely preventable tragedy, no level of DUI fatalities is acceptable.
The heartbreak of losing a loved one in a collision caused by a drunk driver cannot be overstated. Many emotions are involved. Along with unimaginable grief, survivors often experience a wide array of emotions including anger at the drunk driver, anger towards any establishment that served the drunk driver and the legal system itself if that driver had prior DUI arrests.
It costs nothing out of pocket to hire an injury attorney early in the process and doing so can help protect your rights. For example, many public areas and roadways are videotaped, which can be obtained and preserved if timely requests are made. Likewise, most newer vehicles contain data recorders which help demonstrate the erratic nature of the driver prior to impact.
If you have suffered personal injuries or have lost a family member in the greater Jacksonville or Northeast Florida area due to a driver operating a car, truck or other vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or prescription medications, you may want to consult with a Jacksonville car and trucking accident law firm without delay.
If our firm accepts your drunk driving accident case, you pay us nothing unless we make a recovery for you. In addition, we can provide you a consultation free of cost. We handle DUI related accident cases involving injury or death throughout Jacksonville and Northeast Florida. If you are unable to come to our office, we are always willing to travel to you. You will meet with an attorney who can answer your legal questions.