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Preventing impaired driving on December 2017

President Trump signed a proclamation on November 30, 2017, that has officially deemed December 2017 National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. The purpose is clear, as the people of Oklahoma probably know how driving under the influence can impact the lives of drivers, passengers and bystanders.

Every 50 minutes in America, one person dies in an alcohol-related car accident. In 2016, more than 10,000 people died in such accidents, accounting for 28 percent of all traffic fatalities in that year. Though the situation was worse 40 years ago, when alcohol contributed to two-thirds of all traffic fatalities, the numbers are still worrying.

Even more alarming are the results of a 2012 survey: 4.2 million adults in America admitted to driving while intoxicated in the month prior to the survey. The proclamation encourages individuals, together with their families, church, school and community, to take action in preventing others from driving while impaired.

The Trump administration is also active in raising awareness of impaired driving and preventing fatalities. It continues to promote ride-hailing services and has removed harmful regulations that slowed the development of self-driving vehicles. It also strives to provide the resources that law enforcement agencies need to better address this growing trend.

While a friend or family member may be able to keep someone from driving drunk, it can be more complicated with truck drivers. Alcohol contributes to more than a few truck accidents, but regardless, victims have the right to file an injury claim in such cases. They could be compensated for medical expenses and vehicle damage and even be awarded punitive damages since drunk driving is a form of recklessness. A lawyer can hire investigators and handle all negotiations on the victim's behalf, litigating when a settlement can't be reached.

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