Drunk drivers continue to cause deaths, injuries and extensive property damage to residents of Florida’s Treasure Coast. While the Florida Highway Patrol has stepped up efforts to keep dangerous, drunk drivers off the roads, many drinkers still insist on driving drunk and endangering the lives of innocent people.
Over the weekend, a Vero Beach accident caused by a drunk driver resulted in his death, two injuries, four disabled vehicles and a multi-hour road closure. The 22-year-old driver first struck two vehicles on 58th avenue then continued to 49th Street where he crossed the center line and collided head-on with another vehicle. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene. The two injured were treated for minor injuries at the nearby hospital. The police blocked off 49th Street near 51st Court for almost three hours, and blocked off 58th Avenue between 45th and 49th streets for almost two hours.
According to Florida’s 2010 Traffic Crash Statistics report, drivers under-the-influence of drugs or alcohol were the second leading cause of Florida accident fatalities. There were 794 alcohol-related fatalities in Florida in 2010. In Indian River County, six people died and 68 were injured due to drunk driving accidents.
Vehicle accidents are tragic for the families of the victims, as well as very expensive. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that in a period of a year, the cost of both productivity losses and medical care linked to motor vehicle crash injuries exceeded $99 billion. According to the CDC, the cost of medical care alone reached almost $17 billion.
The FloridaHealthFinder.gov reporting tool lists the average cost for an emergency room visit (for any reason) to the Indian River Medical Center at $1,503. A visit to the Sebastian River Medical Center is slightly more with an average cost of $3,881. In this economic downturn, many people simply cannot afford the healthcare or the insurance needed for even basic health care. When a car accident occurs, unfortunately, some are going without the necessary care.
Additional costs for automobile accidents include the cost of the accident response team. Some municipalities have considered charging citizens, or their insurance companies, with an accident response fee. The Insurance Research Council reports, however, that 68% of Americans surveyed disapprove of this approach. Furthermore, lawmakers across twelve states enacted a legislation that bans local governments from imposing these fees, while several more have debated similar legislation.
Florida is one state that has enacted such a ban. Governor Charlie Crist signed Senate Bill 2282 prohibiting Florida cities and counties from imposing fees or seeking reimbursement for costs associated with emergency services sent in response to a car accident.
There is no place for drunk or impaired drivers on Florida highways. While Florida’s law enforcement continues to aggressively enforce drunk driving laws and conduct frequent sobriety checkpoints, keeping our highways free of drunk drivers is also a duty of all Florida citizens. Do your part and don’t drink and drive. Also, do not let your friends drive drunk.
Turn To An Experienced Florida Accident Injury Lawyer
If a drunk driver injures you in a Florida traffic accident, contact an aggressive car accident attorney who has helped many injury victims recover from a serious automobile accident. I am attorney Philip DeBerard. I have more than three decades of legal experience representing people injured in car accidents and other personal injury claims.
At the law firm of Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney, we pride ourselves on providing one-on-one attention to people across South Florida and the Treasure Coast. Our law firm represents victims of drunk driver accidents across South Florida, including Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, Jupiter, Stuart, Okeechobee, Vero Beach, Palm Beach, and throughout South Florida and the Treasure Coast.
Call 1-800-299-8878 now to speak with a knowledgeable Florida car accident attorney or fill out our online contact form.