While Independence Day is a joyful time for many New Yorkers, it is unfortunately a holiday during which residents of the City are more likely to experience a traffic-related tragedy.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) almost 1,400 died in fatal motor vehicle accidents over the July 4 holiday in the years 2016-2020. No doubt many other people suffered serious and life-altering injuries over the holiday as well.
NHTSA pointed out that these statistics highlight that drinking and driving remains a serious problem, particularly over the Independence Day holiday. Of the drivers who died, over 40% were drunk themselves.
The federal agency also pointed out that a motorist does not have to be legally drunk before alcohol will affect their driving. Even a person with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.02, equivalent to one drink, may not be able to operate a vehicle safely.
Those who suffered injuries due to a drunk driver have legal options
People are free to enjoy the holidays however they choose, but they must drink responsibly.
If their drinking causes them to drive unsafely, and they cause an accident as a result, then they may be held accountable to pay compensation to their victims or, in the case of a fatal accident, to the victims’ families.
A New Yorker who suffered a serious injury in a motor vehicle accident over the recent holiday may have significant medical bills and other out-of-pocket costs. They may also require ongoing care.
If they worked, victims might lose their wages for months, or perhaps even permanently, due to their injuries.
Any accident also involves a measure of inconvenience, pain and emotional stress. Victims are entitled to compensation for these non-economic losses as well.