Rising number of women driving under the influence of alcohol

As any motorist knows, there are many hazards on the road that can lead to dangerous motor vehicle accidents. While drivers can take certain precautions themselves to limit the dangers on the road, there are occasions when the irresponsible behavior of other motorists can cause serious harm. For instance, when an individual chooses to get behind the wheel after consuming alcoholic beverages the risk of injury for all motorists on the road increases.

Unfortunately, recent statistics have revealed that an increasing number of women in the United States are operating motor vehicles when they are under the influence of alcohol. Historically, men have largely outnumbered women when it came to drunk driving arrests. Based on data from the Bureau of Justice, that trend is slowly changing.

In 1980, federal statistics showed that of all those arrested for driving under the influence in the United States, just 9 percent were women. The most recent statistics have revealed that women now account for 25 percent of all DUI arrests in the United States.

Of course, despite the sharp increase in the number of women getting behind the wheel when intoxicated, men still account for the majority of drunk driving arrests. In fact, in 2011, of all the male motorists who were killed while behind the wheel, approximately 40 percent were intoxicated at the time. In comparison, just 20 percent of women drivers killed in motor vehicle accidents were drunk when the accident occurred.

Protect yourself from a serious drunk driving accident in West Virginia

Unfortunately, despite efforts to reduce the number of drunk driving accidents in West Virginia each year, drunk driving fatalities continue to increase. In 2011, drunk driving deaths increased by almost 3.5 percent from the year prior in West Virginia. In total, drunk driving accidents accounted for 27 percent of all traffic fatalities in the state that year.

In 2011, there were 2,451 motor vehicle accidents caused by drunk drivers in West Virginia, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Of those, 1,221 accidents led to individuals sustaining personal injuries.

Across the country, similar statistics have been noted, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2010 alone, almost 10,230 individuals died in auto accidents caused by drunk drivers in the United States - which accounted for over 30 percent of all traffic deaths that year.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by a drunk driver in West Virginia, you may be entitled to recover damages as a result of the harm caused. Consulting with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney will ensure your rights are protected.